June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
October 19, 2019
NSF Grantees Poster Session
We describe the development, implementation and assessment of a Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) site in Functional Materials and Manufacturing. Between 2014 to 2018, twenty-seven high school science and math teachers, pre-service STEM teachers, and community college faculty participated in an immersive summer experience under the guidance of engineering and science faculty members of the Functional Materials and Manufacturing Institute (FMMI) at the University of South Florida (USF). Products produced by participants included a research poster (presented at an annual REU/RET Symposium) and a lesson plan (Teach Engineering format) for academic year implementation in their classrooms.
The RET focus on functional materials was chosen for three reasons. First, Materials Science and Engineering is a highly interdisciplinary field that can be addressed in many different subjects covered in high school and community colleges. Second, having a common focus allowed the participants to bond more easily and interact in peer mentoring to advise each other, both in research and lesson plan development. Finally, research in functional materials is a particular strength of the host institution with substantial laboratory and educational resources and accomplished FMMI researchers working in close collaboration in shared, non-partitioned spaces.
Program activities were designed to be synergistic and helpful to participants in producing their posters and lesson plans. These included an authentic research project guided by faculty and their associated graduate students, a course in the fundamentals of materials science, weekly lesson plan seminars, group research meetings and brown bag lunches. A variety of follow-up activities (classroom visits by faculty, extended research involvement of participants, university visits by participants) have allowed for continued collaboration between participants and faculty mentors.
Program assessment results are reported including midterm and post-program surveys of participants and pre- and post-test performance in the Fundamentals of Materials course. We incorporate the assessments into a discussion of lessons learned and how they will drive future RET offerings at our institution.
Campbell, S. W., & Bhethanabotla, V. R., & Thomas, S. W. (2019, June), Board 23: RET in Functional Materials and Manufacturing Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32303
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