Wearable Research for In-Service STEM Teachers
NSF Research Experience for Teachers (RET) - Wearable Research for In-service STEM Teachers (WRIST): Summer 2017 - Summer 2021
The RET project on Wearable Research for In-service STEM Teachers (WRIST) is to involve 12 in-service high school teachers per year from metropolitan Omaha public schools in a six-week immersive summer research experience in June and July, and an one-day intensive follow-up workshop in February of the next year. The participating teachers gain hands-on experiences in an individualized research project mentored by experienced UNO faculty members, and develop problem-based course modules/materials to translate the summer experience into their instructional and laboratory practices in the following semesters.
Participating teachers receive a stipend of $6,000 for the summer program, and an additional $1,000 for classroom piloting of the instructional materials and their sharing of the classroom experiences in the spring workshop. Professional Development Points was available according to the time involved. Participating teachers interested in earning graduate credits have the option to register in UNO Computer Science Independent Study course with their mentors (tuition is to be paid by the participants).
Expectations for the participating teachers include (1) full time commitment of 40 hours per week at the UNO campus during the 6-week summer program, and (2) active engagement of their students in trying-out the instructional materials (10-12 hours commitment) during the fall 2017 semester, and a quality presentation of the results of their work in the follow-up workshop in the next year.
- Engage high school computing technology teachers in cutting-edge research projects in wearable computing and related areas;
- Empower the participating teachers with pathways to translate their hands-on research experience and knowledge to their classrooms with instructional/laboratory modules and course materials developed from integrating with the research projects; and
- Enhance the partnership between UNO computer science faculty and high school information technology teachers, and consequently foster a sustained pipeline of students entering computer science undergraduate programs.
The outcomes of the WRIST program:
- The project led to the establishment of a new Master of Science degree program in Computer Science Education (MS-CSE);
- This project nurtured the creation of a local ACM CSTA (Computer Science Teachers Association) chapter - the Metropolitan Omaha CSTA Chapter;
- The WRIST project has also established a close working relationship within the Metropolitan Omaha Area Schools (MOEC) districts; and
- The project placed a number of stepping stones for the teachers to garner deeper insights into computing technology education.