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Ret Site: Inspiring Educators in Rural America through Research

Robb M. Winter, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, S.D. School of Mines and Technology, 501 East Saint Joseph Street, Rapid City, SD 57701-3995 and Brant Miller, Douglas Middle School, 400 Patriot Drive, Box Elder, SD 57719.

In 2005 SDSM&T received a grant from the National Science Foundation for a Research Experience for Teachers Site. The objectives of the SDSM&T RET Site are:

1) to provide ten (10) sixth through twelfth (6-12th) grade teachers (RET Research Assistants) the opportunity to work side-by-side with undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty mentors in the exciting enterprise of research; 2) to provide RET Research Assistants an experience from which they can draw ideas and develop skills that they can then transfer to their own classrooms; 3) to provide an environment to develop methods to transfer the excitement of research to 6-12th grade students; and 4) to provide an opportunity to form lasting professional relationships and collaborations between teachers and between teachers and mentors.

We will review what we have learned regarding all aspects of running this Site including advertisement, participant selection, research project selection, the research experience, impact of this experience on teachers and their students and management. Teachers as partners in the research enterprise resulted in several unanticipated outcomes which we will present. This has been an exciting venture which can have extensive positive impact on Chemical Engineering.



Web Page: ret.sdsmt.edu/