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2014-15 Application for NSF/RET Engineering Now Available Online

The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee College of Engineering & Applied Science is partnering with regional industry to offer a Research Experience for Teachers Site focusing on the theme of energy. The Milwaukee Regional Energy Education Initiative (MREEI) will annually engage 8 to 10 local high school teachers of mathematics and science (preferably recruited in pairs) in hands-on, cutting-edge engineering research projects in energy-related fields.

Energy was specifically chosen for the theme because it is a current topic of direct interest to students and teachers, it can be easily embedded into the high school science curriculum, and it is a core area of research for engineering faculty members and regional industry. Educators of our next generation of technical leaders, particularly those at the pre-college level, are the critical links for engaging students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses (STEM) and becoming attracted to potential careers in these areas.

Our program seeks high school science and mathematics teachers from Milwaukee-area schools, with particular consideration given to teachers working in urban districts that serve a significantly diverse socioeconomic and demographic population. Teachers in such districts typically face strong challenges concerning motivation and skill level in students’ learning main concepts in science and mathematics.

Teachers in the areas of Chemistry, Physics, Earth Sciences, Mathematics, and Generalized Physical Science are eligible to apply.  Teachers must be highly motivated and open to trying new approaches to student engagement and curricula based on sound learning science practices and cutting-edge engineering research experiences.  Teachers must also complete the summer program, academic year workshops, and present results of this experience at the WSST conference.  Teachers will be compensated for their involvement and time.

Download Application Now

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Rockwell Automation Tour 2013

The teachers enjoyed a tour of Rockwell Automation in July 2013.  First we learned a bit about the services and products offered through Rockwell Automation.  We then had a tour of the research facility at the Glendale campus and a guided tour of the manufacturing floor.  The teachers learned about the different skills needed to create and build the products at Rockwell and had an opportunity to meet with several members of the leadership at Rockwell.  All the participants left the tour feeling excited by the opportunities available to their students for careers and summer internships right here in Milwaukee.

Thank you Rockwell for the inspiration!

RET team, 2013

 

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NSF-RET In the News

From the lab to the classroom

 

By Kathy Quirk on August 20, 2012

Mark Jeter, who teaches algebra and geometry at Vincent High School, worked in a tribology laboratory, helping gather data on the impact of friction and lubrication on bearings.

This year Milwaukee high school students will have an opportunity to learn more about how the mathematics, physics or other natural sciences they are learning about in classes are connected to the real world.

A group of eight teachers from Milwaukee schools will be bringing back some good examples of those connections after spending six weeks working in engineering laboratories at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) as part of the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

This is the first year the College of Engineering & Applied Science (CEAS) has taken part in the program, says Ilya Avdeev, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and the project’s principal investigator. “The teachers spend six weeks immersed in the lab, and think about how they can incorporate what they’re learning into their classrooms.”

 

Chris Levas, a teacher at Riverside University High School, worked in a UWM engineering lab that was researching ways to turn waste water into energy. (Photos by Peter Jakubowski)

“When you figure eight teachers may touch the lives of six to eight hundred students, you have a great potential impact,” he adds.

The RET program in engineering is one of a number of partnership programs the university has with teachers. The Department of Chemistry and Physics has an RET program, and the Children’s Environmental Health Sciences Core Center (CEHSCC), funded through a Science Education Partnership Award, helps bring environmental science to the classroom.

Engineers needed

This new RET experience has focused on research experience in engineering because there is such a great need for Milwaukee-area students to enter the field, says Greg Callan, project administrator for the engineering RET program.

In the engineering RET – the Milwaukee Regional Energy Education Initiative – teachers spent time working in the labs on specific, cutting-edge research projects in energy-related fields with engineering mentors and researchers. Like the other programs bringing classroom teachers to campus, the engineering RET program collaborates with faculty and staff from the School of Education to help teachers translate what they learn in the labs to future classroom activities.

Professor Craig Berg, the co-principal investigator, and Associate Professor Tracy Posnanski guided the teachers in these efforts. They provided instruction to the teachers about the latest educational standards and worked with teachers to transform their experiences in the labs into lessons in the classroom. Callan is a doctoral student in the Educational Psychology department as well as a research assistant in engineering.

Taking it back to class

 

Sombath Bounket of the Cyber Academy, based at South Division High School, hopes to develop lessons for his geometry and trigonometry classes based on the work he did at UWM’s School of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) on self-cleaning surfaces.

Mark Jeter, who teaches algebra and geometry at Vincent High School, worked in a tribology laboratory, helping gather data on the impact of friction and lubrication on bearings. (Tribology is the study of how surfaces interact through friction, lubrication and wear.)

“I’m interested in engineering and wanted to find ways to bring it into my class,” says Jeter.  He’s already thinking ahead to how he can apply some of the knowledge he used in gathering and comparing temperature data to classroom lessons on the importance of being able to convert numbers and use algebraic formulas. “This is really an excellent opportunity. I’m going to bring a lot of things back to school that we can use to get the students excited about mathematics.”

Sombath Bounket of the Cyber Academy, based at South Division High School, is enthusiastic about using what he’s learned at UWM to develop more hands-on experiences for his students in geometry and trigonometry. “I’m a very practical teacher,” he says.

He worked in an engineering laboratory that is doing research on self-cleaning surfaces. As part of that experience, he used an instrument called a goniometer that measures surface contact angles to test how liquids bead up or spread on surfaces. Adapting that knowledge to the classroom, he explains, will provide very concrete examples to his students of why learning about angles is important.

Meghan Sebranek of Audubon High School worked with graduate students studying lithium-ion batteries. The research focus of that project is on designing battery cells that are lightweight, reliable and strong enough for use in powering vehicles. Her experiences in using the Computer Assisted Design Program (CAD) to help the lab team build various prototypes will be turned into class lessons on two- and three-dimensional geometry, she says.

 

Meghan Sebranek of Audubon High School worked with graduate students studying lithium-ion battery cells that are lightweight, reliable and strong enough for use in powering vehicles.

Chris Levas of Riverside University High School worked in the biophotonics laboratory on a project studying microbial fuel cells – helping test ways to use bacteria from wastewater products to generate electricity.

Emily Harrington and John Rentmeester of St. Joan Antida High School worked on energy-efficiency projects. Harrington says she liked having the time to research concepts – something that’s hard to do during the school year. She also is bringing more than knowledge back to her physics unit on thermodynamics. “I bought various combustion engine models with RET money. Students will learn about combustion engines, practice efficiency calculations, study the cooling process and discuss how to make combustion engines more efficient.”

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Posted in FeaturesResearch

 

Kathy Quirk

 

Click on the link to read the latest about this summer’s participants:

 

www5.uwm.edu-From_the_lab_to_the_classroom

 

 


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2013 RET Application now available.

The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee College of Engineering & Applied Science is partnering with regional industry to offer a Research Experience for Teachers Site focusing on the theme of energy. The Milwaukee Regional Energy Education Initiative (MREEI) will annually engage 8 to 10 local high school teachers of mathematics and science (preferably recruited in pairs) in hands-on, cutting-edge engineering research projects in energy-related fields.

Energy was specifically chosen for the theme because it is a current topic of direct interest to students and teachers, it can be easily embedded into the high school science curriculum, and it is a core area of research for engineering faculty members and regional industry. Educators of our next generation of technical leaders, particularly those at the pre-college level, are the critical links for engaging students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses (STEM) and becoming attracted to potential careers in these areas.

Our program seeks high school science and mathematics teachers from Milwaukee-area schools, with particular consideration given to teachers working in urban districts that serve a significantly diverse socioeconomic and demographic population. Teachers in such districts typically face strong challenges concerning motivation and skill level in students’ learning main concepts in science and mathematics.

Teachers in the areas of Chemistry, Physics, Earth Sciences, Mathematics, and Generalized Physical Science are eligible to apply.  Teachers must be highly motivated and open to trying new approaches to student engagement and curricula based on sound learning science practices and cutting-edge engineering research experiences.  Teachers must also complete the summer program, academic year workshops, enter student teams in an end-of-year poster competition, and present results of this experience at the WSST conference.  Teachers will be compensated for their involvement and time.

Download the Application

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RET Summer Labratory Pictures


 Research and experiments galore!

 

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RET-Orientation Night Photos

The RET Orientation Night was a success!

Take a look for yourself!

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BSSEF

During the orientation night, Kurt Braun from the BADGER STATE SCIENCE & ENGINEERING FAIR shared some information about the BSSEF organization and how RET and BSSEF might collaborate in the coming months. More information about the excellent BSSEF program can be found at the following web-address: http://www.bssef.org/ More information about this organization and a partnership between RET and BSSEF to come!

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Orientation Night Presentation

The power point presentation from the may 9th orientation night is available to download if you were unable to make it to the event or if you would just like to take another look. RET orientation night powerpoint-v5

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Application Deadline Past

We would like to thank everyone for their applications to our program. We are no longer accepting applications for the 2012 RET program. For more information on the 2013 RET program contact Amy at kamins73@uwm.edu

 

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Learn More About Our Summer Research Projects!

The list of Summer 2012 research projects offered by research labs at the College of Engineering & Applied Science is growing fast! The projects cover a wide range of energy-related topics:

  • microbial fuel cells
  • solar cells
  • photocatalytic conversion of carbon dioxide to fuel
  • Li-ion energy storage systems for electric vehicles
  • reduction of friction in bearings
  • wind turbines
  • gas turbines
  • biomass gasifier

Check out our Projects page for more information!

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Professors Avdeev and Berg attended 2012 NSF Engineering Education Programs Awardees Conference

NSF/RET Site directors and grant PI’s, Ilya Avdeev and Craig Berg, attended the 2012 National Science Foundation Engineering Education Programs Awardees Conference, which took place in Arlington, VA (March 4-6, 2012).

This National Science Foundation Engineering Education Programs Awardees Conference is a meeting of current PIs from Research in Engineering Education (REE), Innovations in Engineering Education, Curriculum, and Infrastructure (IEECI), Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), Research Experiences for Teachers (RET), Engineering Education Programs (EEP), Faculty Early Career (CAREER); Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education (NUE) in Engineering, and Bioengineering and Bioinformatics Summer Institutions (BBSI). Engineering deans, department heads, and center directors are also invited to share in the exciting results of this research. The meeting is being managed by Virginia Tech’s Department of Engineering Education on behalf of NSF and will be held at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, Virginia.

The objectives of this NSF Engineering Education grantees meeting are:

  • To further develop networks of researchers and practitioners in engineering education.
  • To share ideas and best practices within Engineering Education-funded initiatives.
  • To better equip PIs and coordinators to disseminate and publish their work, assess educational projects, recruit and retain students from underrepresented groups, and report progress to NSF.
  • To answer program-specific questions for PIs and coordinators.
  • To stimulate new approaches and solutions to engineering education problems.

Professors Avdeev and Berg presented project overview, goals and methodology at the poster session. You can download our poster HERE.

 

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TeachEngineering – a great resource for teachers!

TeachEngineering.org is a collaborative project between faculty, students and teachers associated with five universities and the American Society for Engineering Education, with NSF National Science Digital Library funding.

TeachEngineering.org is a searchable, web-based digital library collection populated with standards-based engineering curricula for use by K-12 teachers and engineer
ing faculty to make applied science and math (engineering) come alive in K-12 settings.

The TeachEngineering collection provides educators with *free* access to a growing curricular resource of multi-week units, lessons, activities and living labs. Initiated by the merging of K-12 engineering curricula created by four universities, the collection continues to grow and evolve over time with new additions from other universities, and input from teachers who use the curricula in their classrooms.

Formation of the TeachEngineering collection was funded under the NSF National Science Digital Library Program, which aims to establish a national digital library that constitutes an online network of learning environments and resources for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at all levels.