Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching

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.

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.

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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.

Applicants must: 

  • teach science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science as part of their contracted teaching responsibilities at the K-6 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 current 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 K-6 for this award year.

Nominations may be submitted for more than one teacher. Teachers may also initiate the application process themselves at

Questions? Please contact:

Joseph Reaper
State PAEMST Coordinator

Alexis Wood
State PAEMST Coordinator