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Water Sustainability: Science and Engineering Activities for the High School Classroom (Resource Exchange)

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

PCEE Resource Exchange

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Christina Anlynette Alston Rice University Orcid 16x16

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As Associate Director for Science & Engineering of the Rice Office of STEM Engagement, Christina leads the Rice Excellence in Secondary Science Teaching (RESST) biology program. In this capacity, she guides Houston area high school Life Science teachers in weekly meetings on Rice’s campus to explore both biology concepts and the ways in which they can be taught using inquiry methods.

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Carolyn Nichol Rice University

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Dr. Carolyn Nichol is a Faculty Fellow in Chemistry and the Director of the Rice Office of STEM Engagement (R-STEM). R-STEM provides teacher professional development to elementary and secondary teachers in science and math content and pedagogy, while also providing STEM outreach to the Houston Community. Dr. Nichol’s research interests are in science education and science policy. She received her B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, her doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, and served as a postdoctoral fellow in the College of Pharmacy at UT Austin. Prior to joining Rice University, she worked at Boehringer Ingelheim on innovative drug delivery systems and she was an Assistant Professor in Diagnostic Radiology at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, where she conducted research on nonviral gene therapy systems. At Rice University she has developed and taught courses in The Department of Bioengineering including Numerical Methods, Pharmaceutical Engineering, Systems Physiology, Biomaterials and Advances in BioNanotechnology.

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The National Science Foundation Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for NanoEnabled Water Treatment (NEWT) supports an education program for science teachers to participate in, the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program. Educators from Houston, Texas, Phoenix, Arizona and El Paso, Texas are selected to participate in this annual year-long experience that seeks to enhance and improve the quality of science and engineering education within their communities. NEWT RET interns conduct research focused on applications of nanotechnology on the topic of water sustainability for both drinking and industrial uses. The experience aims to provide opportunities to K-12 teachers who serve economically disadvantaged students by exposing the students to hands-on science and engineering activities not traditionally taught in the classroom. NEWT RETs have created various forms of secondary science and engineering curriculum to share their water and nanotechnology focused research with fellow educators and the students within their Environmental Science, Life Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, and middle school science classrooms. Created curriculum includes scientific research posters, hands-on science activities, engineering design challenges, and educational videos. All lessons and activities are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards as well as Texas or Arizona state standards. At the curriculum exchange, attendees will be provided instructions for accessing the growing online database of NEWT RET created curriculum.

Alston, C. A., & Nichol, C. (2019, June), Water Sustainability: Science and Engineering Activities for the High School Classroom (Resource Exchange) Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33546

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