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Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Program

Ongoing professional development for teachers is an important component in the revitalization of science education. To help teachers learn about nanotechnology and discover ways to share this knowledge with their students, the NU-NSEC offers an innovative summer program for high school science teachers and community college faculty.

Launched in 2002, the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program is under the direction of Professor Mike Davis (Harold Washington College). During the seven-week program, participants engage in hands-on, nanotechnology-related research under the mentorship of Center faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. Weekly group meetings, laboratory tours, and seminars further broaden the experience.Participants also work with their mentors and the program director to develop innovative curricular projects, along with assessment tools, that introduce nanotechnology concepts.

Each RET participant receives a stipend of $8,000, plus $500 for classroom supplies related to the curricular project developed.

Eligibility and Application Process
Applicants must be (1) U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a bachelor's degree in the physical sciences or engineering and (2) be currently employed as a K-12 science teacher or community college science faculty.

Participants are selected primarily based on the availability of a research project compatible with the applicant's scientific and professional interests.

You may download an application by clicking the link below, emailing a request to, or calling 847/467-1031.

RET Application

Deadline for application - March 1, 2011.
- $8,000, plus $500 for classroom supplies related to curriculum project developed.


Introduce your students to nanotechnology!

These innovative classroom projects were developed by teachers participating in the RET program:

Carbon Allotropes
Developed by Matthew Armfield, Deerfield High School

Developed by Sussan Oladipo, Wells Academy High School

Microcontact Printing
Developed by Michael Davis, Harold Washington College

Nanoscale Modeling and Nanotechnology in the Media
Developed by Joanna Marshall, Buffalo Grove High School

Developed by Stephanie Zaucha, Deerfield High School

Nanoscale Science & Engineering Center | Northwestern University
2145 Sheridan Road, K111 | Evanston, IL 60208
Phone: (847) 491-5784 | Fax: (847) 491-3721
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