RET Program

The Research Experience for Teachers (RET) in nanoscience and nanotechnology enables several high school science teachers each summer to participate in a 10-day long laboratory immersion, exposing them to the burgeoning field of nanoscale science and engineering, assisting them in developing teaching tools, and enhancing their enthusiasm and effectiveness for promoting students' pursuit of careers in nanotechnology.

Working along side UW CNT faculty, RET participants:

  • Explore cutting-edge, scientific advances in nanoscience and/or nanotechnology
  • Collaborate with UW scientists to develop classroom activities that will engage and excite their students
  • Experience current laboratory techniques and studies being performed by scientists and learn to integrate cutting-edge science with inquiry-based learning
  • Learn about career opportunities in nanoscience and nanotechnology to share with their students

Each RET experience is structured collaboratively by the participating teacher and UW CNT faculty member, but typically will include the following components:

  • Development of agenda, expectations, and goals for the specific research project and overall laboratory experience
  • Safety training and lab overview
  • Readings in basic nanotechnology concepts, methods, and applications.
  • Meetings, seminars, and colloquia with a range of nanotechnology researchers, including graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and other faculty members
  • Hands-on experiences with cutting edge nanotechnology instrumentation in the CNT Nanotechnology User Facility
  • Focused research project with mentor scientist
  • Collaborative, hands-on development of inquiry-based lessons in nanotechnology for high school students that incorporate best educational practices
  • Preparation and presentation of classroom activity

Success in the RET experience is ensured through both extensive prior preparation and close one-on-one working relationships between research scientists and participating science teachers.

RET fellow profile

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