SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY (CBS13) – The federal government is offering a $1.45 million grant to help lure University of the Pacific students majoring in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields to teaching jobs at San Joaquin County K-12 schools.

San Joaquin County is facing an acute shortage of STEM teachers at the county’s high-need schools, so the National Science Foundation is providing a sizeable grant that it hopes will make a difference, according to UOP public relations manager Keith Michaud.

The program will provide scholarships to least 20 aspiring STEM teachers over the next five years, starting in their junior year and ending with their master’s degree and teaching credential. In return, students will take part in undergraduate research and for every year they receive scholarships, they will be required to teach two years in San Joaquin schools.

The San Joaquin County Office of Education estimates that California will need 33,000 new math and science teachers over the next decade.

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