Research Experience for Teachers (RET)
Research Experience for Teachers (RET)
a 6-week nanotechnology research experience
at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
nano@illinois REU Management
The nano@illinois Research Experience for Teachers (RET) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will annually (from 2014-2017) expose a diverse set of in-service and pre-service science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teachers and community college faculty from across the nation to cutting-edge research in nanotechnology. The RET will focus on recruiting underrepresented minority populations (focused on ethnicity, geography, disability, and veteran status) including women and will target teachers from high-need areas, including inner city, rural, low-income, and those with significant URM students. Participants will conduct research in world-class labs and engage in other activities over 6 weeks on a full-time basis, with 4 follow-up sessions during the school year. Participants will have possibilities to extend the RET for 2 years.
Teacher professional development will include teacher-focused lectures, ethics seminars, hands-on modules, STEM education issues, career choices, and resources for implementing a nano lab and curriculum. With interest and experience in K-14 education, faculty's and staff's commitment to this RET Site will ensure positive outcomes for the teachers and their students. The RET Site will leverage institutional knowledge and educational resources developed through the NSF Center for Nanoscale Chemical-Electrical-Mechanical Manufacturing Systems (Nano-CEMMS).
Each teacher will develop a high-quality multi-day instructional module with associated instructional resources that is grounded in the research conducted throughout the summer and research area worked in. In addition to teaching this module to students and collecting data on its integration in your classroom, this module will be shared nationwide through nanotechnology hubs.
High-quality follow-up sessions and evaluation will be infused.
Who Should Apply?
Computational and theoretical nanotechnology
Nanoelectronics and nanophotonics
Nanomaterials and nanomechanics
Nano-electricalmechanical systems (NEMS)/Micro-electricalmechanical systems (MEMS)
Societal and Ethical Implications of Nanotechnology and Assessment
nano@illinois RET Program Coordinator
Quotes from Participants
"The experience surpassed any expectation that I had. The interaction with the participants mentors and professors was memorable. I felt like a scientist exposed to new and challenging information. The entire experience revitalized and invigorated my commitment to education. The information, projects, conversations and techniques learned have given me a new set of teaching tools. I will remember this RET as one of the highlights of my teaching career."
Antonio Gamboa, 2016
"My work in Dr. Goddard's lab on photoelectrochemical etching of silicon was one of the most rewarding educational and scientific experiences of my career. Since silicon is found in sand, I told people my time at MNTL felt like I was spending the summer playing in the best 'sandbox' in the world!"
Terry Koker, 2014
"The nano@Illinois RET has opened my eyes to the interdisciplinary nature of current science research and industry. While reverse engineering a biosensor, I have conducted research in electrochemistry, constructed circuitry, and manipulated computer programs. I've also been exposed to a wide range of research topics being explored at the University of Illinois which will provide me with discussion topics to bring back to the classroom."
Victoria Taylor, 2015
"My experience during the RET program gave me an actual research project to investigate. Having the hands-on opportunity to work in a clean room for hours on end and learning about the steps in the manufacturing of microprocessors is now something that I can share with my students and colleagues. I enjoyed each and every day of the program and I have a greater respect for the teams of researchers at the University of Illinois."
Dan Reid, 2014
"When I started with the RET, my goal was to find some practical lesson ideas for integrating nanoscience in the classroom. By having the opportunity to complete research at Illinois, I was able to personally understand nanoscience better and, thus, be able to better translate this interesting, new science to teachers in my district. The RET program strengthened my background knowledge and provided me with the experience to apply these concepts at an elementary level, exposing young children to a new and growing field of science. The whole experience had a large impact on the future of my science instruction."
Tatiana Stine, 2016
"The people and the program are welcoming. The research problems are intriguing and challenging. The collegiality is professional and invigorating. The tools and the techniques are accessible to participants. The training is both broad and thorough. The outcomes are truly inspiring."
David Bergandine, 2014
"My name is on the patent, it’s the coolest thing to be able to put it on the wall as a high school teacher and show your students that you are patented."
Terry Koker, 2016