This award provides funding for a three year continuing award to support a Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) in Engineering and Computer Science Site program at the University of California Berkeley entitled, "Berkeley Engineering Research Experiences for In-Service and Pre-Service Teachers (BERET)", under the direction of Dr. George C. Johnson.
This program will focus on the intersection between engineering, science, and mathematics through the interdisciplinary lens of synthetic biology. This program will place a total of 52 middle and high school STEM teachers (26 in-service teachers from the Berkeley Unified School District and the Oakland Unified School District and 26 UC Berkeley pre-service teachers enrolled in Cal Teach) within a variety of engineering-related research laboratories associated with UC Berkeley and will guide them to develop curricula based on their research that is relevant to the subjects that they teach in school and aligned with the educational standards for the subject addressed. BERET will be run jointly by the Cal Teach science and mathematics teacher education program and the NSF Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC).
BERET will increase the understanding of math, science and engineering concepts, skills and careers for K-12 students in high need urban schools, and in so doing, contribute to increasing the number of women and under-represented minority students in the STEM pipeline, particularly in engineering fields. The rigorous K-12 curricula developed through BERET will be reviewed, tested and disseminated broadly through web-based resources such as the Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education (IISME) Community website and the TeachEngineering digital library. The program will also help to build a vibrant network of in-service teachers, pre-service teachers, and faculty, postdoctoral, and graduate student researchers that will produce long-term collaborative partnerships among individuals and institutions.