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Board # 51: An Evaluation of a Research Experience Traineeship (RET) Program for Integrating Nanotechnology into Pre-College Curriculum

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Justin L Hess Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Justin L Hess is the Assistant Director of the STEM Education Innovation and Research Institute. In this role, Justin is working on improving the state of STEM education across IUPUI's campus. Dr. Hess’s research interests include exploring empathy’s functional role within engineering and design; designing STEM ethics curricula; and evaluating students’ learning in the spaces of design, ethics, and sustainability. Previously, Justin worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University, where he created and refined ethical theory and learning modules to improve STEM students' ethical reasoning skills and dispositions. Justin received his PhD from Purdue University's School of Engineering Education, along with a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.

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Charles Feldhaus Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Dr. Charles Feldhaus is a Professor of Organizational Leadership and Supervision in the Department of Technology Leadership and Communication (TLC) with the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He serves as Interim Chair of the Technology Leadership and Communiation department. He received the Bachelor of Science degree in Radio and Television from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and the Masters of Science in Secondary Education from Indiana University. His doctorate is from the University of Louisville in Educational Administration with a cognate in urban education. Dr. Feldhaus spent 20 years as a classroom teacher, principal and district administrator in public education. His research interests include P-12 STEM education, STEM workforce education, post-secondary STEM education discipline based research, engineering technology recruitment and retention, and engineering ethics..

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Maher E. Rizkalla P.E. Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Dr. Maher E. Rizkalla: received his PhD from Case Western Reserve University in January 1985 in electrical engineering. From January 1985 until August 1986 was a research scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL while he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Purdue University Calumet. In August 1986 he joined the department of electrical and computer engineering at IUPUI where he is now professor and Associate Chair of the department. His research interests include solid state devices, applied superconducting, electromagnetics, VLSI design, and engineering education. He published more than 175 papers in these areas. He received plenty of grants and contracts from Government and industry. He is a senior member of IEEE and Professional Engineer registered in the State of Indiana

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Mangilal Agarwal Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

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*corresponding author

Mangilal Agarwal received his B.E. degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Osmania University (Hyderabad, India) in 1998, and the M.S. and Ph.D. in Engineering from Louisiana Tech University (Ruston, LA) in 2002 and 2004, respectively. Upon receiving his Ph.D. degree, he was employed by Louisiana Tech University, as a Postdoctoral Research Associate, followed by appointments as Research Staff and Research Assistant Professor at the Institute for Micromanufacturing, the largest campus-wide interdisciplinary research institute. Currently he is the Director of the Integrated Nanosystems Development Institute (INDI), Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and directs the development of interdisciplinary research and education initiatives.

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Nanotechnology has become a national focus throughout the United States with more than 24 billion USD of cumulative federal support towards nanotechnology research and development since 2001. In the last 20 years, R&D in this space has led to a number of revolutions in electronics, photovoltaics, manufacturing, medicine and much more. One of the primary goals of this federal funding, as described by the inter-governmental body, the Committee on Technology Subcommittee on Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET), has been to develop educational resources that will ultimately lead to a skilled workforce who will continually advance the state of the art of nanotechnology.

This study explores the impact of one summer’s implementation of an NSF-funded Research Experiences for Teachers professional development K-12 program designed towards this end. Specifically, the Research Experiences for Teacher Advancement in Nanotechnology (RETAIN) program at a large public Midwestern University was designed to provide 30 K-12 teachers (10 per year, primarily high school level) from high-needs, urban school districts with research experiences and shared activities designed to increase their understanding of the challenges and demands of nanotechnology, as well as college and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. In addition to these research experiences, our multi-disciplinary team sought to lead participants in the creation of 15 hands-on inquiry-based teaching modules (5 per year) that integrate multiple STEM disciplines, convey scientific-process skills, and align with Indiana Academic Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards.

We frame this study as research evaluation, as our initial focus was on evaluating programmatic outcomes with the intention of improving the program itself through a cyclical process of research to practice. In this paper, our scope extends to the broader scholarly community: here we build on our evaluation results, with the aim of extending the body of knowledge pertaining to STEM professional development opportunities similar to this one.

Hess, J. L., & Feldhaus, C., & Rizkalla, M. E., & Agarwal, M. (2017, June), Board # 51: An Evaluation of a Research Experience Traineeship (RET) Program for Integrating Nanotechnology into Pre-College Curriculum Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27873

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