June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
22.1251.1 - 22.1251.11
ASEE Abstract, for K-12 & Pre-College Engineering Division Title: RET Yields Elementary, Middle, and High School Teaching InnovationsAbstractThe National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program sponsors K-12teachers for a summer of conducting research in a STEM laboratory. Participating teachers work closelywith faculty mentors and graduate students to develop independent research projects, and use this cutting-edge research as a spring-board for creating novel teaching kits and lessons for classroom use. Further,participants align the innovative teaching modules with all related State Standards of Learning. Thismanuscript will provide an overview of the research-based teaching kits that were developed in the RET2010 program for elementary, middle, and high school STEM classrooms, and will discuss the results oftwo outcome surveys administered to participants to measure the effectiveness and impact of (1) the RETprogram and (2) the instructional use of the RET teaching module in the classroom.In the summer of 2010, the RET program hosted fifteen teachers: three from elementary, five frommiddle, and seven from high schools. We will highlight a unique aspect of this program: the inclusion ofelementary school teachers, who created useful and exciting teaching modules such as an online Prezitutorial introducing nanotechnology and a “Reading and Science” unit in which students grow algae anddebate its use as a biofuel alternative energy source. RET 2010 participants conducted research in thedepartments of biomedical, civil/environmental, electrical/computer, materials science, mechanical, andsystems engineering, as well as physics. An example of an outstanding teaching kit developed for highschool biology is the utilization of a cotton candy machine for demonstrating the creation of spunNanofibers for tissue engineering applications in biomedical engineering. The RET summer programconcluded with a Final Colloquium, where participants presented a poster, a working demonstrationversion of their kit, a PowerPoint, and an oral presentation. Participants then introduced the new teachingmodules and kits in their classrooms during the 2010-11 school year and reported results via survey. Thispaper will conclude with an overview of survey data, lessons learned, and next steps in the refinement ofthe Research Experience for Teachers program.
Vallas, C. A., & Trail, J. J. (2011, June), RET Yields Innovative Elementary, Middle, and High School Teaching Kits Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18794
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