This award provides funding for a three year standard award for a Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) in Engineering and Computer Science Site Program at the University of Houston (UH) entitled, RET in Engineering and Computer Science Site at the University of Houston: Innovations in Nanotechnology, under the direction of Dr. Frank J. Claydon. This is a request to support a six-week summer program to infuse 12 middle and high school STEM teachers from the greater Houston area, each year for three years, with enthusiasm for the field of engineering and knowledge about nanotechnology research that will be subsequently shared with their respective middle and high schools classes.
The Cullen College of Engineering seeks to give Houston-are middle and high school STEM teachers the opportunity to collaborate with highly experienced and nationally recognized faculty in the field of nanotechnology. Their participation in the program will not only make important contributions to ongoing research efforts at UH but also will result in learning-theory based secondary school instruction related to nanotechnology. The project team will work with the RET teachers in developing K-12 engineering modules based on the How People Learn learning theory to ensure that teachers develop and implement nanotechnology modules appropriate to the grade level and subject being taught. Sustained follow up will be achieved through classroom visits by research mentors and the program PIs campus visits to UH, and an annual RET Celebration Conference.
Participants in the UH Innovations in Nanotechnology RET program will conduct research under nationally recognized experts in the field of nanotechnology. Teachers will be recruited from the Houston-metro area. This recruitment plan will yield not only a diverse group of teacher participants, but also promises to impact ethnically and socio-economically diverse students in the participants middle and high school courses. The program works with the Houston Independent School District, which has a very high percentage of minority and/or low-income students.