Curriculum and Instruction

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) Program was established in 1983 by The White House and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The program identifies outstanding mathematics and science teachers, kindergarten through 12th grade, in each state and the four U.S. jurisdictions. These teachers will serve as models for their colleagues and will be leaders in the improvement of science and mathematics education.

Annually, New York State can recognize up to five finalists in both Mathematics and Science. If selected, finalists' applications will be forwarded to a PAEMST Review Committee at the National level. Of the State finalists in Mathematics and Science, one candidate from each content area will be recognized at the National level. Each Presidential Awardee will receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. Each Awardee will also be invited to attend, along with a guest, recognition events in Washington, D.C. These events will include an award ceremony, a Presidential Citation, meetings with leaders in government and education, sessions to share ideas and teaching experiences, and receptions and banquets to honor recipients.

In 2003 the competition began to alternate each year between teachers of grades 7-12 and teachers of grades K-6. In 2014, teacher of grades K-6 mathematics and science in each state and the four U.S. jurisdictions are eligible to apply for the Presidential Awards in 2014.

The deadlines for PAEMST nominations and applications have been extended. Nominations are now due by April 15th and applications are due by May 15th. More information pertaining to the PAEMST 2014 nomination and application process is now available to access at:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the PAEMST selection criteria?

A. The program is open to practicing public-, private- and parochial-school teachers with a minimum of five years of experience. Teachers must be a full-time employee of the school or school district as determined by state and district policies, and teach K-12 students at least 50 percent of the time. Candidates are then chosen on the basis of their teaching experiences and performance. This includes an evaluation of their formal education and continuing educational experience as well activities related to their professional learning. Applicants are asked to demonstrate how their instructional practices facilitate student learning of important math and science content, concepts, and process skills. They must also provide letters of support for their application from fellow stakeholders in education.

Q. How are recipients selected?

A. Awardees are selected from those eligible teachers who have completed an online application, available on the PAEMST official website (www.paemst.org). Applicants provide documentation of their background and evidence of professional success to state selection committees of their peers. Mathematics and science educators from the state and nation participate in the selection process at both the state and national levels.

These committees can choose a maximum of five finalists from each content area of mathematics and science. State-level finalists are recognized by the national program and in their individual states or political jurisdictions. These finalists are candidates for the PAEMST Award. One state finalist in each content area is selected for each state by a national committee of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators as the Presidential Awardee. The White House approves Presidential Awardees and promotes notification and recognition of awardees receiving the PAEMST for either mathematics or science for their respective state.

Q. What are the citizenship requirements for nominees?

A. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who teach in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Dependent Schools, or the U.S. territories of Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas or the Virgin Islands.

Q. When was PAEMST established?

A. Former President Ronald Reagan signed into law a measure establishing the program in 1983 (P.L. 98-377). The law was amended in 1988 to include elementary teachers (P.L. 100-570). The teacher enhancement program of NSF's division of elementary, secondary, and informal education administers the program for the White House.

For more information, please e-mail info@paemst.org

Last Updated: April 7, 2014