2010 - 2012
This RET-BITS Site program aimed to establish a strong partnership between the hosting institutions MSU, the NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Wireless Integrated MicroSystems (WIMS), school districts, and industry on advancing pre-college science and engineering education, by training a cadre of leaders of middle and high school teachers in the areas of STEM. The three year program provided a seven week summer experience for a total of 26 middle and high school STEM teachers from Holt Public Schools, Utica Community Schools, and the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP). These teachers were given the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research on Bio-Inspired Technology and Systems (BITS), with "one-on-one" mentoring from engineering faculty. Working with PIs, faculty mentors, and a teacher development specialist from the College of Education, teachers developed innovative, standards-compliant curriculum modules and participate in a number of professional development activities: workshops, seminars, and field trips to industry and national labs. Extensive follow-up activities were planned throughout the academic year to ensure translation of the lab experience to classroom practice and to foster and strengthen long-term partnerships between engineering faculty and teachers. The RET-BITS Site engaged industrial partners to explore a potentially sustainable paradigm for RET that is supported primarily by industry.
- Spark the interest of students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
- Train teachers to ultimately develop students’ confidence and skills to succeed in a dynamic and competitive global marketplace.
- Develop innovative curriculum that integrates interdisciplinary, hands-on learning with national and state standards.
Approach / Methods
- 10 teachers/year, 7-week BITS Summer Institute
- Close interactions between faculty, grad/undergrad students, and RET fellows
Development of standards-compliant curriculum
- During Summer Institute and the Fall semester
- Implement in classroom during the Spring semester
Project-based learning for students during semesters
- Coached by RET fellows
- MSU College of Engineering Design Day
- Annual workshop to disseminate new curricula for school teachers, administrators, and university faculty.
A typical Summer Institute schedule can be found here.