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Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through grade 12 mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Established by Congress in 1983, the PAEMST program authorizes the President of the United States to bestow up to 108 awards each year. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.

Principals, teachers, parents, students, or members of the general public may nominate exceptional mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers at Awards alternate each year between elementary and secondary teachers. In the 2020 award cycle, nominees must be science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teachers working in grades K-6. Nominations are due on March 1. Applications must be completed by May 1.

Nominees who meet all of the following criteria may begin the application process at

  1. teach mathematics or science (including computer science) as part of his or her contracted teaching responsibilities at the K-12 grade level in a public (including charter) or private school;
  2. hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution;
  3. be a full-time employee of the school or school district as determined by state and district policies, with responsibilities for teaching students no less than 50 percent of the allotted instructional time;
  4. have at least five years of full-time, K-12 mathematics or science teaching prior to the current academic school year;
  5. teach in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Department of Defense Education Activity schools, or the U.S. territories as a group (American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands);
  6. be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; and
  7. not have received the PAEMST award at the national level in any prior competition or category.

Presidential awardees receive:

  1. a certificate signed by the President of the United States,
  2. a paid trip to Washington, D.C. to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities,
  3. a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, and
  4. an opportunity to build lasting partnerships with colleagues across the nation.

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