The University of Arizona has run a Research Experiences for Teachers Program funded by NSF for 10 years. This RET site teams together the University of Arizona (UA), City of Tucson Environmental Management Division, Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson Electric and Power Company, Tucson Unified School District (TUSD), Marana Unified School District (MUSD), Nogales School District, and other districts in Pima County, Arizona. Annually, 6 UA faculty from the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, 4 to 6 industrial mentors, 2 project evaluators, 12 to 14 teachers (ideally elementary + half math and half science secondary teachers), 8 pre-service teachers, 2 teacher leaders, and 8 undergraduate or graduate engineering students are part of the RET Site activities. These individuals impact around 2000 students annually. The individuals comprise 4 teams consisting of 4 teachers from the same school, 2 preservice teachers, 2 engineering students, 1 faculty, and 1 industrial mentor. The overall objective is for teachers and pre-service teachers to work on environmental discovery-based research projects for 5 weeks during the summer, and transfer the knowledge learned directly to the K-12 classroom through core curriculum enrichment. The research plan provides a unique opportunity for participants to experience both laboratory projects and industrial scale applications. The projects focus on remediation of organics, metals removal, denitrification using alternative electron acceptors, and biofilm removal. In addition to research, the teams work together to improve classroom pedagogy. Teams attend workshops on current standards related to their discipline, inquiry based learning, stressing/encouraging problem solving as opposed to memorization, and minority and gender equity in the classroom. Teacher leaders from TUSD and MUSD lead some of these workshops. The pre-service teachers intern with the teachers during the following academic year to aid transfer of new knowledge gained from the RET experience into the classroom. In addition, project evaluators, faculty, industrial mentors, and engineering students visit the K-12 classroom during the academic year.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings|
|State||Published - 2007|
ASJC Scopus subject areas