LAFAYETTE — The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has received a $127,449 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a new master teacher program for middle school science and math teachers, said a ULL faculty member leading the project.

The money will be used to plan a professional development program that provides a stipend to those classroom teachers interested in becoming math coaches or master teachers, said Christina Eubanks-Turner, a ULL assistant professor of math. Classes could begin as soon as August with 15 to 20 teachers, she said.

The NSF grant funding supports the planning of the program, while additional NSF funding would be sought through the foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program, she said.

The NSF created its Noyce program to increase the number of science, technology, engineering and math teachers in grades K-12, according to the program’s website. The program provides funding for colleges and universities to offer programs and stipends.

As part of ULL’s program, Eubanks-Turner said, the teachers would be eligible for a stipend if they work in a high-needs school district.

Eubanks-Turner is the principal investigator of the ULL project with co-investigators Peter Sheppard of ULL’s curriculum and instruction department and the math department’s Patricia Beaulieu and Kathleen Lopez.

As part of the team’s planning, they’ll visit districts across the country to gather best practices, Eubanks-Turner said.

The goal of the program is for enrolled classroom teachers to earn credit toward a master’s degree through summer and distance learning courses, she said.