This award provides funding for a three year standard award to support a Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) in Engineering and Computer Science Site program at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) entitled, "RET in Engineering and Computer Science Site: Research to Inspire Students about Engineering (RISE) through Inquiry", under the direction of Dr. Brad Kinsey.
The major objectives of this program are to strengthen STEM learning and motivation and to promote engineering by: -Providing pre- and in-service middle and high school teacher-leaders with an intensive summer research experience in an engineering field. -Creating a community of educators, including teacher-leaders, faculty members, and university students, with research experience and teaching knowledge to assist one another as they develop and implement inquiry-based engineering activities. -Providing access to equipment and materials for inquiry-based learning modules through the established UNH Advancing Science Program.
To accomplish these objectives RISE will create an effective and sustainable infrastructure to support RET opportunities at UNH for teachers throughout New Hampshire. During each summer of the project a cohort of twelve in-service and five pre-service teachers will participate in a seven week experience which will include orientation, intensive research, and curriculum development. School year follow-up to support the integration of the summer research experience and inquiry-based activities within the curriculum will also be provided, both in person with classroom visits by RET faculty and graduate/undergraduate students and through an electronic discussion board. The UNH Leitzel Center, which is well known in the region for facilitating exemplary teacher development activities, will provide the administrative structure for all project activities. Inquiry was selected as the theme for this proposal due to the expertise of the Leitzel Center in this area and the focus on inquiry based learning at UNH.
The broader impacts of RISE include the creation of a sustainable community of educators, including teachers and faculty, to collaborate on developing and implementing inquiry-based activities in classrooms. Participating UNH faculty and graduate students will experience the teachers' perspectives in designing learning activities that engage a variety of student learners. In addition, the inclusion of rural and urban communities and women faculty members as mentors will attract underrepresented individuals to engineering.