June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
NSF Grantees Poster Session
Nanotechnology Research Experience for Teachers Enhancing STEM Education
Teachers serve a vital role in improving the nation’s STEM education and inspiring the interest of students. Teachers should be seen as lifelong learners who also need opportunities to enhance their knowledge and spark their own scientific inquiries in order to share this enthusiasm with their students. The Nanotechnology Research Experience for Teachers (RET) fulfills this role by providing K-12 teachers with unique summer research opportunities over the past six years. RET teachers are matched into research groups by their reported interest and work with a research scientist, postdoctoral or graduate student, mentor for a six-week research internship in a faculty laboratory. Teachers gain valuable research experience and deepen their scientific knowledge while simultaneously forming connections between scientific principles, experimentation, and their classrooms. RET teachers are guided in these connections via workshops on classroom pedagogy that focus on translating nanoscience and engineering into inquiry-based lessons. The teachers meet weekly during their summer experience to discuss their research, share their experiences in the lab, develop ideas for their students, as well as plan the dissemination of their research, thus forming a collaborative, supportive community. Each teacher creates a poster to present their research experience on the university campus, as well as with their home campus and district or at professional conferences. In the school year following the research experiences, teachers return to the university to share both their research and lesson plans with other teachers in professional development programs. Participants are also encouraged and guided to publish their nanotechnology lessons through TeachEngineering.com. Throughout the components of the program, assessment is performed by an external evaluator to determine the impact on the 12 teachers that participate each summer as well as provide feedback for refining the program. This paper details the RET objectives, program design, evaluation results, as well as the lessons learned, accomplishments achieved, and broader impacts on the community.
Nichol, C. A., & Chow, A., & Obenland, C., & Alston, C. A., & Avendano, C. (2017, June), Board # 115 : Nanotechnology Research Experience for Teachers Enhancing STEM Education Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27699
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