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RET Site: Sustainable Development-Research Experience for Teachers: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Robb Winter

[email protected]

This Research Experiences for Teachers in Engineering and Computer Science Site: Sustainable Development-Research Experience for Teachers (SD-RET) at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSM&T) will expose middle and high school mathematics and science teachers in rural America to engineering and science research projects and a curriculum development strategies to improve the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. To align with the educational and training needs of the 21st century and to increase the interests of students, particularly underrepresented minorities, in learning STEM disciplines, the SD-RET provides the teachers an access to the various engineering and science technologies and the tools to integrate engineering/science projects into K-12 curriculum.<br/><br/>This SD-RET project will directly involve at least 30 rural teachers over the three project years. During the 6-week summer program each year, the rural teachers will conduct research in the engineering and science research laboratories at SDSM&T as research assistants (referred to as SD-RET RAs) with formal/informal mentoring from the faculty and graduate/undergraduate students. The engineering and science research projects will focus on implementing the technologies to address challenges in sustainable development such as air quality, water resources and treatment, sustainable energy, and sustainable materials. In addition, the SD-RET RAs will enroll in a 2-credit graduate course entitled "STEM Education in Secondary Classroom" for pedagogical and curriculum development training based on state and national standards. By integrating the lab research experience and curriculum development skills, the SD-RET RAs will translate their engineering and science research experience into their STEM curriculums. The SD-RET project will provide multiple follow-up activities to enable the implementation of the SD-RET experience. The SD-RET Assessment Advisory Board will evaluate the project and provide feedback for continuous improvement. Beyond the 30 SD-RET RAs, this project has the potential to extend impacts to colleagues of the SD-RET RAs at the same schools, pre-service teachers enrolling in the curriculum development course, and educators who access to the SD-RET website.


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