Research Experience for Teachers (RET)

RET Program Teacher working in the lab.

RET Program Teacher working in the lab.

RET Cohort 2007

RET Cohort 2007

A program for Research Experience for Teachers from schools in the Delaware Valley was started in 1999. Teachers spend 6 weeks working on an individual research project under the supervision of a graduate student or post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of an LRSM -associated faculty member. At the end of the program the teacher must make an oral presentation of his/her findings and also submit a research paper before leaving the program.

Research Experience for Teachers 2017

With support from the National Science Foundation, this program seeks up to five high school science teachers from the Delaware Valley region. The teachers will undertake a summer research program for six weeks from June 19 through July 28, 2017 and each will be assigned to a senior investigator in five of our IRG or Seed programs within the PENN MRSEC. It is proposed that each teacher learn a specific instrumental technique that is seminal to the research interests of the group, e.g. x-ray diffraction or scanning electron microscopy, which he/she will use to conduct a short research assignment pertinent to the goals of the group.

During the first week the teachers will be given instruction on laboratory safety and a mini course on materials science that will cover most of the major classes of materials: metals, polymers, ceramics, semiconductors, and biomaterials plus an overview of the major characterization techniques used in the MRSEC. This will include tours and demonstrations of the MRSEC’s Shared Experimental Facilities. Instruction will also be given on research methodology.

Each teacher will be expected to present a short oral report on his/her research activity during the last week of the program and also to submit a short, written report. Teachers will be expected to return to the LRSM at the start of the following summer to informally discuss their experiences throughout the year with the incoming class of teachers.

Teachers will be selected mainly from public and private schools in the Delaware Valley that are within commuting distance of the PENN MRSEC. Information on the program will be disseminated by flyer to schools and will include details of the faculty mentors, their research interests, and techniques to be learned. Application to the program will be through the link below, which will also contain details of the program. We will provide a stipend of $5,000 of which $4,500 will be paid this summer and a further $500 when you return next year to meet our incoming class of RET teachers to give us a report on how you used the experience in your class/school during the year.

Examples of MRSEC faculty members who will accept teachers for research experience in the topics listed include, but are not limited to, those shown below.

Prof. Paul Janmey, Physiology
‘Salmon clotting Factors and their Use as Tissue Sealants’

Prof. Jorge Santiago, Electrical and Systems Engineering

Prof. Ritesh Agarwal, Materials Science and Engineering
‘Production of Tellurium Nanotubes’

Prof. A. T. Charlie Johnson, Physics and Astronomy
‘DNA functionalized carbon nanotubes as ultrasensitive vapor sensors’

Prof. Feng Gai, Chemistry
‘Effect of 5-cyanoindole on Inter-vesicular pH’


click for On-Line Application Form (preferred)

Application deadline April 15

more information:

Mark Licurse, Director of Education
Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter
University of Pennsylvania
3231 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6202

Tel. (215) 573-4759
Fax (215) 898-8296