The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the highest honors bestowed by
the United States government specifically for K-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teaching.
The Awards were established by Congress in 1983. The President may recognize up to 108 exemplary teachers each year.
Awards are given to science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teachers from each
of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the 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 U.S. Virgin Islands).
The award recognizes those teachers have both deep content knowledge of the subjects they teach and the ability to
motivate and enable students to be successful in those areas. Since the program's inception, more than
5,000 teachers have been recognized for their contributions
in the classroom and to their profession.
Awardees reflect the expertise and dedication of the Nation's teaching corps, and they demonstrate the positive
impact of excellent teachers on student achievement. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on behalf
of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Recipients of the award receive the following:
A certificate signed by the President of the United States.
A paid trip to Washington, D.C., to attend a series
of recognition events and professional development opportunities.
- A $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.
- An opportunity to build lasting partnerships with colleagues across the nation.
- teach science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science as part of their contracted teaching responsibilities at the 7-12 grade level in a public (including charter) or private school;
- hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution;
- be full-time employees of the school or school district as determined by state and district policies, with responsibilities for teaching students no less than 50% of the school's allotted instructional time;
- have at least five years of full-time employment as a K-12 teacher prior to the 2020-2021 academic school year during which science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science has been a part of the applicant's teaching duties each of the five years;
- teach in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity schools, or the U.S. territories as a group (American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands);
- be U.S. citizens or permanent residents; and
- not have received the PAEMST award at the national level in any prior competition or category.
Anyone—principals, teachers, parents, students, or members of the general public—may nominate exceptional
individuals who teach science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science in grades
7-12 for this award year. To submit a nomination, the following information
- Teacher's name
- Email address
- School contact information
Nominations may be submitted for more than one teacher. Teachers may also initiate the application process themselves at www.paemst.org.
Once a teacher is nominated or initiates the application process, the teacher will receive an email
invitation to continue the application process. The invitation will include login information for accessing
the online application system.
Sign up to be notified when nominations open
firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions
regarding the PAEMST nomination process.
The application consists of three components: Administrative, Narrative, and Video. The application is
designed to allow the applicant to provide evidence of deep content knowledge and exemplary pedagogical
skills that result in improved student learning. After eligibility is confirmed and technical specifications
are met, each application will be evaluated using the following five Dimensions of Outstanding Teaching:
- Mastery of content appropriate to grade level taught.
- Use of effective instructional methods and strategies that are appropriate for the students in the classroom and that support student learning.
- Effective use of student assessments to evaluate, monitor, and improve student learning.
- Reflective practice and life-long learning to improve teaching and student learning.
- Leadership in education inside and outside the classroom.
For complete details, please review the
2020-2021 Application Packet.
Login to the application system
All applications will be subjected to the following review process:
At the State level, coordinators convene selection committees, which include prominent
mathematicians, scientists, mathematics/science education researchers, district-level personnel, and
classroom teachers. These committees select up to three finalists from each award category (mathematics
and science) for recognition at the state level and forward up to six applications from each state to
NSF for national review. States are strongly encouraged to forward finalists in each of the STEM areas.
Within the science category, states are encouraged to include science and engineering finalists (if
appropriate) and in the Mathematics category, states are encouraged to include mathematics and
technology/computer science finalists (if appropriate).” State selection committees score their
applications using the review criteria and scoring information presented in this
Prior to national review, State finalists will have the opportunity to respond to state level review
feedback through submission of a PAEMST addendum.
At the national level, NSF convenes a national selection committee composed of
prominent mathematicians, scientists, mathematics/science education researchers, district-level personnel,
and classroom teachers. The national committee reviews state finalists’ applications and ranks state
finalist using the review criteria noted above. NSF then recommends up to two finalists per state to the
OSTP. All finalists will be subject to a Federal Bureau of Investigation background check.
Each Presidential Awardee receives a certificate signed by the President of the United States and a $10,000
award from NSF. Awardees are honored at an award ceremony which takes place in Washington, D.C. Additional
events may include professional development opportunities and discussions with policy makers on how to
improve science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science education.
Learn more about the event, and current awardees, on the PAEMST Recognition Program Web site.