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 Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) entitled, RET SITE: Milwaukee Regional Energy Education Initiative (MREEI), under the direction of Dr. David C. Yu. The rationale for the MREEI RET site is to train secondary teachers through fundamental energy-related research and translational activities that are tied to industry, and then leverage curricular approaches that allow them to directly transition this knowledge into highly inspirational STEM experiences for their students.
The three engineering colleges in Milwaukee-the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Marquette University, and the Milwaukee School of Engineering-are partnering with regional industry and the Milwaukee Public School (MPS) system, to develop a collaborative RET Site focusing on the theme of energy. MREEI will annually engage 10 local mathematics and science high school teachers for six summer weeks in hands-on, cutting edge engineering research projects in energy-related fields. Energy was specifically chosen for the theme because it is a current topic of direct interest to students and teachers, it can be easily embedded into the high school science curriculum, and it is a core area of research for the three participating engineering schools and regional industry. Potential research topics for the RET participants include renewable and alternative energy, nano-scale sensor development, advanced materials, wind turbine blade design, and carbon capture and sequestration. As part of their scientific research projects, the teachers will be linked with real-world applications through collaborations with industry partners.
MREEI will impact 30 teachers and 4500 students from high-need urban public high schools in the city of Milwaukee. More importantly, this proposal and its activities directly align with Milwaukee Public School systems new vision for science and mathematics and its Comprehensive Math and Science Plan (CMSP) which will be implemented during the 2011 academic year.