The STEM Teacher Leadership Network (STEMTLnet)

An online learning community and network that supported and empowered STEM teacher leaders and aspiring teacher leaders to effect change related to STEM teaching and learning.

Lead Staff:
Joni Falk
Brian Drayton
Project Staff:
Kim Descoteaux
Kathryn Hobbs
Quang Le
Jillian Ives


The STEMTLnet website is archived and no longer actively maintained. All archived resources, research, and video presentations can still be accessed on their website.

The STEM Teacher Leadership Network (STEMTLnet) was an interactive learning community and collegial network where STEM teacher leaders and aspiring teacher leaders could share their paths, challenges, strategies, lessons learned, and resources with each other. The professional learning community provided resources, networking tools, and events throughout the year to help members explore topics related to STEM teacher leadership in depth. STEMTLnet supported multiple teacher leadership communities, including, but not limited to:

  • NSF Presidential Awardees for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)
  • NSF Presidential Awardees for Excellence in Science Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM)
  • PIs and recipients of the NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program
  • Teacher leaders developed through multiple NSF Math Science Partnership projects
  • Einstein Fellowship program
  • NSTA/NCTM Ambassadors program
  • Knowles Teaching Fellowship program.

The virtual community was also intended for principals, superintendents, researchers, and policy makers interested in supporting and fostering teacher leadership. Aspiring teacher leaders found value in the site’s ability to provide awareness, resources and information on leadership paths, as well as access to those who have gone through these programs. The learning community supported current and emergent leaders in underserved urban schools and in rural environments, who may have lacked the opportunity for daily collaboration with other STEM leaders.

While the community was facilitated by an experienced team, the online infrastructure encouraged teacher leaders to co-create a learning network for and with each other. Members shared multiple pathways in which leaders could influence STEM within their districts, impact educational policy and its implementation at the district, state and national level, and engage in research to propel STEM teaching and learning forward. The virtual community enhanced the professional development of current teacher leaders, provided continued support for those who received leadership awards, and offered an outlet for them to give back to others beyond their own districts.

Research Activity

The project’s research furthered the understanding of how an interactive, multimedia environment can enhance the effectiveness of a teacher leadership community of practice.


The STEM Teacher Leadership Network increased the impact of NSF’s investments in teacher leadership programs, particularly the Presidential Awardee program by providing support for excellent STEM teachers after receiving the PAEMST award. It brought PAEMST awardees into contact with teacher leaders who have gone through other programs, most notably the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program.

Learn more about STEMTLnet’s impact in TERC’s 2020-2021 Biennial Impact Report on page 21.