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'Helped Me Feel Relevant Again in the Classroom': Longitudinal Evaluation of a Research Experience for a Teachers' Program in Neural Engineering (Evaluation)

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Professional Development for Teachers and Counselors

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Kristen Clapper Bergsman University of Washington

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Kristen Clapper Bergsman is the Engineering Education Research Manager at the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering at the University of Washington, where she is also a doctoral student and graduate research assistant in Learning Sciences and Human Development. Previously, Kristen worked as an educational consultant offering support in curriculum design and publication. She received her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction (Science Education) from the University of Washington.

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Jill Lynn Weber Center for Research and Learning

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Jill Weber is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies and English. She has worked as a Project Manager in Information Technology as well as in the Marketing group at AT&T Wireless, and was a corporate trainer for new hires. Ms. Weber was in charge of managing large cross-company project teams and several large technology projects.
In 2005, Ms. Weber completed the University of Washington Certificate in Program Evaluation. Currently, she is the owner of The Center for Research and Learning and has expertise in planning and conducting evaluations; developing protocols for interviews, focus groups, and surveys; collecting and analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data; and incorporating data into reports for various grant-funding agencies. Her work adheres to the Program Evaluation Standards of the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation. She uses her experience and knowledge to provide personal service to programs so that they can become more effective and better understand their outcomes.

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Eric H. Chudler University of Washington

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Eric H. Chudler is a research neuroscientist interested in the neuroactive properties of medicinal plants and herbs and how the brain processes information about pain and nociception. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle in 1985. He has worked at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. (1986-1989) and in the Department of Neurosurgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. (1989-1991). Chudler is currently a research associate professor in the Department of Bioengineering and the executive director of the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering. He is also a faculty member in the Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine and the Graduate Program in Neuroscience at the University of Washington. In addition to performing basic neuroscience research, he works with other neuroscientists and classroom teachers to develop educational materials to help K-12 students learn about the brain.

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The Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program, supported by the National Science Foundation, engages pre-college teachers in authentic research experiences in university-based laboratories across the country. Some RET program sites engage science teachers in engineering research. With A Framework for K-12 Science and Engineering Education [1] and the Next Generation Science Standards [2] calling for the integration of engineering practices into science classes, K-12 teachers need support in being prepared to bring engineering design to their students. The Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering at the University of Washington has hosted a RET program for secondary science teachers since 2012, engaging a total of 22 teachers. This seven-week RET summer program was designed to provide science teachers with authentic research experiences in neural engineering labs and insights into the practices of professional engineers. The program also supports participating teachers as they design, implement, and revise engineering curriculum materials for their classrooms and for broad dissemination to other educators. Over 2,862 students have participated in activities from the RET curriculum units. In this paper, we describe the design of the RET program, the program evaluation methods implemented by an external evaluator, and our evaluation findings. We report yearly evaluation findings as well as trends over the program’s six year history. By sharing information on program design and longitudinal evaluation findings, RET program coordinators at other sites may benefit from our lessons learned and the best practices we have developed over the program’s history.

Bergsman, K. C., & Weber, J. L., & Chudler, E. H. (2018, June), 'Helped Me Feel Relevant Again in the Classroom': Longitudinal Evaluation of a Research Experience for a Teachers' Program in Neural Engineering (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29644

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