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RET Site–Sustainable Electronics
Purdue University – Tuskegee University

Program Dates: June 5 – July 14, 2017 

Program Overview

The RET Site is a unique professional development opportunity that leverages the expertise of engineering scholars at Purdue University and Tuskegee University. The second year of the program will host 11 high school STEM teachers from Indiana and Alabama for six weeks during the summer 2017. Complementing the research will be a series of other professional development activities, such as field trips, and presentations from members of the Industrial Advisory Board. The teachers will be provided funding and support to implement new, standards-based curricula into their science courses at their respective high schools.

Click on image (left) to enlarge and view the 2017 RET Flyer.

Teacher Activities

Teachers will choose the campus (Purdue or Tuskegee) at which they will participate. Teacher activities during the summer are divided into three phases. Phase 1 (the first week) will comprise an orientation week that will include an introduction to engineering, training in research methods and ethics, an introduction to best practices in teaching engineering and practices for teaching sustainability concepts in engineering contexts, and cohort-building. All of the RET participants will spend this first week at Purdue.  

Phase 2 will be focused on the teachers’ development as researchers in their respective research teams. Those participants who are primarily mentored by Tuskegee faculty will travel to and complete Phase 2 at Tuskegee, while teachers mentored by Purdue researchers will remain at Purdue. Weekly sessions (weeks 2-5) will bring teachers together as cohorts (in person at Purdue or at Tuskegee) and via teleconference as an entire group to develop, share and discuss approaches for integrating the research experiences and outcomes into the HS curricula. Discussions will include basing the curriculum on science standards. Additional teacher activities include field trips to facilities related to the theme of sustainable electronics, and interaction with an Industrial Advisory board.

Phase 3 (week 6) will bring all of the teachers together at Purdue for final presentations, discussions and summative evaluations and closure.

Following the six week program, research mentors will maintain contact and provide support to teachers as they implement the high school curricula during the 2017-2018 school year.

Teacher Compensation

Participants who complete the program will be paid a stipend of $8000. Up to $2000 will be available to each teacher to develop and implement the high school science curricula resulting from their training experience. Up to $1000 will be available for supplies and materials related to each teacher’s research project.  For participants conducting research at Tuskegee, the RET Site will fund round-trip travel between Purdue University and Tuskegee University during weeks 1 and weeks 6 of the program.

RET Site participants speak about their experiences at upcoming 2017 HASTI conference

Several 2016 RET Site participants will speak about their experiences with the program at the upcoming Hoosier Association for Science Teachers, Inc. (HASTI) conference in Indianapolis. The participants will give presentations during the session, "Summer Research in Sustainable Electronics High School/Technology/Society, Cutting Across Science: Integrating Core Concepts," on Friday, February 3 at 9:30 a.m.. Participants will share their research results and curriculum development regarding sustainable electronics in Indiana. Speakers include:

  • Sara Koch - Freemont Middle School
  • John Gensic - Penn High School
  • Stephanie Crook - Hebron High School
  • Jordan Kelsey - Hoosier Academies