Biden doles out highest U.S. award for science and mathematics teachers and mentors

President Joe Biden named 117 teachers, mentors, and mentoring organizations as recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) and Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). These awards honor the dedication, hard work, and important role that America’s teachers and mentors play in supporting learners who will be future STEM professionals, including climate scientists, mathematicians, innovators, space explorers, and engineers. 

The benefits of a quality STEM education fail to reach every learner in this country often due to racial, gender, economic, and geographic disparities. STEM teachers and mentors serve as powerful catalysts for developing the vast potential of our Nation’s learners. PAEMST honors STEM teachers for the commitment they bring to the classroom and for their efforts to meet the learning needs of all their students. PAESMEM recognizes mentors for their efforts to inspire and encourage individuals from underserved and underrepresented communities in STEM and their efforts to ensure that all Americans can fully participate in science, mathematics and technology regardless of gender, race, resources or geography.

Nominees complete a rigorous application process that allows them to demonstrate deep content knowledge and their ability to adapt to a broad range of learners and teaching environments.

A panel of distinguished mathematicians, scientists and educators at the state and national levels assess the applications before recommending nominees to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Teachers are selected based on their distinction in the classroom and dedication to improving STEM education.

PAESMEM recognizes the critical roles mentors play outside the traditional classroom in the academic and professional development of the future STEM workforce.

Colleagues, administrators, and students nominate individuals and organizations for exemplary mentoring sustained over a minimum of five years. Since 1995, PAESMEM has honored the hard work and dedication mentors exhibit in broadening participation in STEM pathways.

Mentors support learners from the kindergarten through collegiate levels, as well as those who recently have started their careers in STEM. They share their expertise and guidance with learners, sometimes through formal mentoring programs. Learners are often from underrepresented and underserved communities in STEM.

The National Science Foundation (NSF), which manages PAEMST and PAESMEM on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), provides each recipient $10,000.  Award recipients also receive a certificate signed by the President. For more information, visit PAEMST ( and PAESMEM (

Recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are listed below with their award category in parentheses:


Mallory Emmons, The Peck Place School, Orange, (Mathematics)

A Southington resident, Lori Durocher, Norfeldt Elementary School, West Hartford,  (Science)


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