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NIST Accepting Applications for Two Summer Programs for Middle School Science Teachers

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is accepting applications for the 2012 Summer Institute for Middle School Science Teachers and the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program. These two opportunities give teachers the chance to spend time on the NIST campus in Gaithersburg, Md., learning from and working with scientists and engineers.

The NIST Summer Institute is a two-week workshop for middle school science teachers featuring hands-on activities, lectures, tours and visits with NIST scientists and engineers in their laboratories. Teachers learn about core topics such as forensics and materials science, and receive educational materials to help them integrate these topics into their classroom while meeting curriculum standards.

Middle school science teachers who have already completed the NIST Summer Institute are eligible to apply for the RET program and spend six continuous weeks at the NIST Gaithersburg, Md., campus working side-by-side with NIST scientists. The teachers work on projects that combine research with direct applications tailored to developing, maintaining, advancing and enabling the Nation's measurement system. The research projects are chosen for their relevance to the teachers' interests and the NIST mission.

Applications to both programs are submitted by school districts, not individual teachers. For the NIST Summer Institute, public school districts and accredited private educational institutions in the United States and its territories may nominate no more than one teacher per middle school in a school district or institution. For example, if there are 20 middle schools within a district, the district may nominate up to 20 teachers. The RET program has slots for up to three eligible teachers.

Both programs give participants the opportunity to increase their understanding of the subjects they teach and how scientific research is performed. They also gain a network of scientists and engineers at NIST with whom to consult once they are back in the classroom.

Applications for both the NIST Summer Institute and RET program are due by 3 p.m. Eastern time on March 21, 2012.

More information and links to the applications can be found on the Summer Institute Web page at

Released January 24, 2012, Updated January 25, 2023