Research Education for Teachers

June, 2006

CREST-RESSACA is implementing an active plan for the integration of research and education, both within the university setting and with local educational organizations.

Three outreach programs were simultaneously run in the summer of 2004. These programs were designed to operate as separate entities, yet operate within a framework of collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Research Experience for Teachers Program (RET)

Teacher Orientation at Texas A&M-Kingsville June 13, 2006 Teaching Environmental Science at TAMUCC June 15-29, 2006 CREST Research, Dept. of Environmental Eng. July 5-25, 2006

OBJECTIVE

The RET experience is designed to enhance the teachers' personal and professional skills, encourage them to increase laboratory or field based learning in their classrooms, and give them insight into the skills needed to work as college students, graduate students, and university faculty. This program is loosely based upon the premise that providing teachers with research experience and skills in environmental engineering research laboratories would lead to an improvement in their high school students' understanding of environmental engineering principles, and introduce them to scientific research methods.

Another objective of this program is to bring engineering principles and new technologies to the local high schools, many of which are largely minority serving and economically disadvantaged. Increasing community participation in research and emerging technologies could not only lead to an emergence of interest in engineering science as a vision for the future, but also provide encouragement for minority youth to actively pursue a college education.

GUIDELINES FOR TEACHER PARTICIPATION

CREST recruited four teachers for the RET 2004, based on participation in past programs, demonstrated interest in research, relevance of environmental engineering research topics to their teaching subject, and a willingness to �think outside the box'. Each teacher was paired up with a CREST faculty member, CREST graduate student, and an undergraduate student from the URO program and was assigned specific tasks based on faculty needs and expectations. The individual faculty and the teacher collectively decided the nature and extent of participation in research, and individual deliverables and expectations, and the teachers collaborated with CREST staff and obtained pedagogical guidance from the ITS attendee, in order to prepare a module for 10 hours of classroom instruction.

t is expected that these guidelines and deliverables will be further defined and altered, as the program evolves. All alterations will be implemented based upon collective recommendations from participating faculty, teachers, and graduate students.

PARTICIPANT DELIVERABLES FOR CREST-NSF

Detailed report outlining the scope, abbreviated literature review, methodology, results, analysis and discussion of the research project. The report should be approved by individual faculty member.

Educational module based on research and research methods utilized in research. The module should be designed to fit 10 classroom hours of high school teaching, and should be completely self-explanatory, i.e the module should be detailed enough in its scope, explanations, presentations, homework assignments and exams, and expectations as per these assignments, that any teacher attempting to teach a 10 hour module should be able to use one of these modules, without many interpretation or presentation problems. This also implies that the module should be fairly simple in terms of equipment used, so as to fit the needs of those high schools that might not possess such equipment. If the research conducted does not encompass enough material to warrant a 10 hour lesson plan, participants have the option to interact with other willing faculty within CREST and participate in another project. Participants will also have the option work in teams of two, to create their module(s).

Brief paper on proposed implementation of research methods in high school curriculum, including lectures that incorporate environmental engineering, examples of research, and plans for implementing field methods in high schools. The teachers are also expected to participate in an evaluation process after implementation of module in their local high school. This survey, which will be administered in November, 2004, will assess the learning module, and its effect in the classroom. It will also provide a forum for teacher recommendations and guidelines for future programs.

STIPENDS

Teachers will be paid a stipend upon completion of the research experience and module preparation.

This page was last updated on: August 17, 2016