Engineering for Biology: Multidisciplinary Research Experiences for Teachers in Elementary Grades (NSF Award No. 1711543)
The University of Florida Multidisciplinary Research Experiences for Teachers (MRET) is an integrated program to bring together K-5 teachers, engineering faculty, engineering students, and industry professionals to cultivate the next generation of STEM professionals and catalyze North Central Florida’s STEM education ecosystem. Elementary educators influence fundamental skill development and disposition of students toward math and science from the youngest ages, and the goal of MRET is to prepare K-5 teachers to bolster student interest and enthusiasm for STEM fields. MRET will include four distinct elements designed to heighten elementary educators’ STEM awareness and expertise, including: (1) a 6-week immersive research experience for K-5 teachers; (2) curriculum development assistance through weekly summer meetings led by elementary education experts; (3) exposure to STEM careers through weekly summer seminars from local industry professionals; and (4) engineering student involvement in K-5 classrooms during curriculum development and throughout the school year. Teachers receive compensation similar to teaching summer school for their participation in the program, with bonuses throughout the year for continued engagement in professional development opportunities.
Learn more about this program and what we’ve accomplished so far at the Center for Precollegiate Education and Training.