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CURENT Engineering Reserch Center - Research Experience for Teachers

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Academic Level:
K-12 Educators

The Center sponsors a summer programs for teachers interested in developing curriculum related to electricity and power. The experience can be used to improve both their own content knowledge and their classroom activities. This year we will offer 2 two-week sessions of Research Experience for Teachers (RET). Seminars and training will focus on electric power and energy systems for middle and high school teachers.

Teachers will have the opportunity to work with CURENT's faculty and graduate students in our world-class facilities. The program includes both a content-knowledge component and a curriculum development aspect so that teachers will have ideas to take back to the classroom.

The participants in the program will be expected to dedicate approximately 35-40 hours per week during the summer experience.

Each teacher will also be expected to create a poster towards the end of the term that displays his or her research. The poster will be presented to CURENT researchers.

Each teacher is expected to create a proposal explaining how they could incorporate electricity, energy, or engineering concepts into their classroom. Each teacher is expected to create 1-2 lesson plans with assessments and aligned with science standards from their proposal ideas and submit them to CURENT before the end of the program.

For their efforts developing curriculum, teachers will receive payment for their work ($900 per week) Some materials will be provided for the classroom (approximately $200).

Parking passes for lots near the building will be provided.

Research Areas

RET participants will be exposed to a variety of power systems and power electronics topics throughout the summer. Initially, participants will receive training to enhance their knowledge of electricity basics. This training will encourage an understanding of voltage, current, power, renewable energy, and the operation of the electric grid. Field trips will be used during the term to show applications and research related to these topics. During the mid-to-late stages of the program, teachers will be supported by CURENT staff and students to develop connections between what has been learned and their K-12 academic standards. The goal of the program is to develop new materials that can support the teacher in their classroom.

Teachers will have access to CURENT experts in following areas:

Power Systems

Power Electronics

Data Visualization

Cyber Security

Smart Grid/Smart Home Technology

Power Markets

Electric Vehicles

Energy Harvesting

Biomedical Devices

Emerging Materials

Social-Behavioral Issues of Energy

Commitment to Diversity

The Center is committed to promoting diversity within science and engineering. We especially encourage teachers who are women and/or from underrepresented groups (African American, Native American, Hispanic/Latino, Pacific Islander) and teachers with disabilities to apply to our Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program.

Participating Institution(s):
(Click an institution to see all programs it hosts)
University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Lead)
Northeastern University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Tuskegee University

Program Materials:
 • Program Website 

This Program can be Described by:
Academic Disciplines:
Computer & Electrical Engineering
Computer Sciences

Energy Efficiency
Engineering Research
Power Systems
Renewable Energy
Solar Energy

Learn More and Apply!

This program is funded by:
National Science Foundation (NSF)
U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE)

Page last updated 4/18/2019
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