RET in Engineering and Computer Site: Nanotechnology Research Experiences for Teachers at FIU Grant

RET in Engineering and Computer Site: Nanotechnology Research Experiences for Teachers at FIU .


  • 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 Florida International University (FIU) entitled, "RET in Engineering and Computer Science Site: Nanotechnology Research Experiences for Teachers at FIU", under the direction of Dr. Masoud Milani and Dr. Laird Kramer. FIU's College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) and its Center for Diversity in Engineering and Computing (CDEC) in collaboration with its Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Education propose to establish a RET site which will recruit 16 middle and high school STEM teachers per year for 3 years (total of 48 teachers) and will engage them in a 6-weeks, hands-on, comprehensive summer research program with academic year follow-up, designed to increase their knowledge of the latest advancements in nanotechnology and enable them to develop new STEM K-12 curriculum based on their research findings and activities. The site's recruiting activities will be centered in Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS), the fourth largest school district in the country with over 340,000 students, of which almost 90% are historically underrepresented minorities (65% Hispanic, 24.5% Black) at 435 schools with over 20,000 teachers.The program participants will complete their research programs in a period of 6 weeks during summer under the mentorship of expert researchers in nanotechnology and will participate in follow-up activities conducted throughout the academic year where the program participants will discuss how they are utilizing the knowledge and experiences from their research, the curricula that were developed during their research programs, and their classroom experiences. The results of the follow-up sessions will then be used to enhance the target curricula. As part of this project, teachers will be involved in research projects that are advancing knowledge and understanding in nanotechnology while at the same time working on curriculum development advancing understanding of ways to introduce engineering research related ideas and particularly nanotechnology ideas in STEM K-12 education. By providing advanced background in engineering and STEM education, the project will develop participating teachers into a persistent, driving force in improving STEM education in high needs schools within Miami-Dade County Public Schools. This will lead to significant improvements in STEM education by the participants and serving their often underrepresented communities. The project will also provide insight into effective partnerships between FIU and the fourth largest school district in the nation.

date/time interval

  • January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2016

sponsor award ID

  • 1300711