The application consists of three components: Administrative, Narrative, and Video. The components require 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 is evaluated on five Dimensions of Outstanding Teaching:
- Mastery of mathematics content appropriate for the grade level taught.
- Use of instructional methods and strategies that are appropriate for students in the class 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 outside the classroom.
- At the State level, Selection committees, which include prominent mathematicians, scientists, mathematics/ science educators, district level personnel, and classroom teachers select up to five finalists from mathematics or science for recognition at the state level.
- At the national level, NSF convenes a national selection committee composed of prominent mathematicians, scientists, mathematics/science educators, district level personnel, and classroom teachers that reviews the state finalist applications and recommends up to two finalists in mathematics or science from each state or jurisdiction.