Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

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The National Science Foundation has awarded a Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) in Engineering and Computer Science Site program to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis entitled, "Research Experiences for Teacher Advancement In Nanotechnology (RETAIN)" for Green Energy and Technology.

The RET site at IUPUI provides pedagogical training and assistance to STEM teachers within the school districts that comprise metro Indianapolis and the surrounding region. This research-based professional development training will help teachers infuse STEM curricula with inquiry-based methodology in order to generate STEM interest among students. Furthermore, due to the multidisciplinary nature of nanotechnology, trained teachers will be equipped to integrate multiple STEM subjects into their curriculum, providing students with subject-to-subject connectivity comparable to real-world collaborative expectations. Participation will also enhance teacher development through graduate course credits. This program complements IUPUI's undergraduate nanotechnology-track, funded through an NSF Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education (NUE) award, by investing in Indiana's K-12 community to ultimately produce graduates with interest and college-ready skills for success in nanotechnology-related degree programs.

The two major goals of RETAIN are: 1) Train 30 high school teachers in inquiry- and discovery-based science from hypothesis development and experimental design to data collection and dissemination of results, while introducing STEM concepts, applications, and career options. 2) Integrate RETAIN contents into high school classrooms by translating research experiences into 15 (five per year) inquiry-based, nanotechnology teaching modules designed to boost excitement and student interest in the STEM disciplines and careers.

RETAIN is an immersive six-week summer program in nanotechnology that will impact a total of 30 (10 per year) Indiana high school teachers and offer participants:

  • research experience and knowledge of careers in nanotechnology
  • hands-on laboratory experiences in inquiry-based science
  • participant-designed teaching modules developed to meet existing state and national science standards
  • connection to a professional network of other teachers, professors, and scientists as well as on-site RETAIN support during module implementation
  • professional development and graduate credits