The long-term impact of including high school students in an engineering research experience for teachers program

Linda S. Hirsch, Howard S. Kimmel, Marie Anne Aloia, Laurent Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The Research Experience for Teachers program (RET) has been found to be effective in exposing teachers to research and engineering principles with the objective of bringing their experience and new knowledge back to their classrooms. For the last ten years, New Jersey Institute of Technology, a university in the northeast has hosted an RET program in pharmaceutical engineering, with up to fourteen high school mathematics and science teachers each year. Several of the teachers have participated for multiple years, servings as coaches for the new teachers. One teacher, who participated all ten years, began to bring two to four of her students each year each who were supported by a stipend from the American Chemical Society Project SEED Program. In later years, other teachers also brought students so that in a given summer six to eight high school students worked as partners in research teams with teachers, graduate students and faculty. The proposed paper tells the story of how their participation in our RET program made a difference for the students of the teacher who participated in the RET program for ten years, including choice of subsequent courses in high school and extra-curricular activities. There were between two to four students each year for 9 years for a total of 26 students. Almost of all of them used their research to form competitive science fair projects working in the research and engineering classes at their high school established by the RET teacher as a result of participation in the RET program. Many of the students won awards and all of them went on to attend four year colleges majoring in STEM or STEM related fields. As the high school these students attended is in an urban area with a high-proportion of underrepresented and economically-disadvantaged students of which only an average of 51% go on to attend a four year college after graduation (in any major not necessarily STEM) this is remarkable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 24 2017
Event124th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Columbus, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2017Jun 28 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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