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Montana State Seeks Elementary Teachers For Six-Week Paid Summer STEM Experience

 

December 7, 2022 | View PDF

Participants in the summer 2022 Research Experience for Teachers program visited MSU research facilities such as the Montana Microfabrication Facility and local Indigenous culture sites in addition to working in research labs and developing curriculums that combine engineering education and Indian Education for All. (MSU photo by Adrian Sanchez Gonzalez)

Bozeman - Montana State University is recruiting elementary school teachers for a summer program that offers hands-on research experiences and fresh ideas for bringing science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, into their classrooms. Teachers will also gain skills in developing curriculums that combine STEM with Montana's Indian Education for All mandate.

In the National Science Foundation-funded program, called Research Experience for Teachers in Engineering, participants work alongside MSU faculty in cutting-edge research labs, attend field trips and engage in workshops for crafting STEM lesson plans. The six-week program kicks off in June 2023, and applications are being accepted.

"Our goal is to provide teachers with an authentic research experience that they can take back to their classrooms and inspire the next generation of engineers and other STEM professionals, especially among students who might not otherwise think of (these fields) as a career option," said project leader Paul Gannon, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering professor in MSU's Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering.

The program has an energy theme and will offer opportunities for research on topics such as biofuels and battery technology in collaboration with MSU's Energy Research Institute and Western Transportation Institute. The field trips will include visits to energy facilities such as dams, oil refineries and solar arrays. The trips will also include stops at nearby Indigenous sites such as buffalo jumps, where participants will discuss Indigenous STEM perspectives and generate ideas for fulfilling Montana's Indian Education for All mandate, according to Gannon, who is also associate director of MSU's Montana Engineering Education Research Center, which works to facilitate interdisciplinary research to address the big challenges facing engineering education today.

This will be the second year of a three-year program. Last year's group included seven teachers from across Montana along with four MSU education students.

Participating teachers will receive a $6,000 stipend plus classroom resources. Housing and meals are provided on campus, and travel funding is available, as well. The program seeks both pre- and in-service teachers with diverse experiences, backgrounds and interests with a focus on those who currently are (or will be) teaching upper elementary students (grades 3 through 5). No specific STEM experience is required.

The deadline for applying for the summer 2023 program is Feb. 4, 2023. For more information and to apply, visit montana.edu/ret.

 

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