NIST launches an initiative designed to give middle school science teachers an opportunity to directly participate in scientific research at NIST, an experience which will broaden their understanding of how scientific research is performed. NIST’s Research Experience for Teachers (RET) provides two local middle school science teachers with six weeks of real-world research experience at NIST. As they explore the scientific process through experiments and discussion, the teachers and scientists will translate their work into hands-on activities applicable to the middle school science classroom.
Through one-on-one mentorship with NIST scientists, the teachers will work on projects combining research with direct applications tailored to developing, maintaining, advancing, and enabling the measurement system for the nation. Teachers will develop a network of scientists and support at NIST available during the school year to assist them as they translate their new knowledge and tools into enriching classroom experiences.
The benefits of this experience will be multiplied as the teachers return to their classroom and implement educational activities based on their research sharing what they have learned with other teachers in their school districts. Teachers will also share what they are learning with participants in the two week NIST Summer Institute for Middle School Science Teachers, which will be running concurrently with the RET program Teachers will gain greater confidence to demonstrate their work back in the classroom to inspire students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers.
The program provides a world-class opportunity for teachers of our nation's next generation to engage in research, expand their capabilities, and encourage their students to master skills and understanding of basic scientific principles.