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NSF Research Experience for Teachers Through the Lens of Rehab Engineering Design

We have developed a NSF-funded Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program to promote STEM fields and innovation in primary and secondary schools using Quality of Life Technology (QoLT) and Rehab Engineering Design as the thematic backdrop for the curriculum and projects. The RET training is highly experiential, including flipped classroom techniques that incorporate research and development of a QoLT technology mentored by a graduate student and potential clients.  Following a fifteen-week project-based research and design training, teachers participate in a four-week workshop where they translate the R&D concepts and design tools into curricular units, which they use the subsequent semesters with their primary and secondary students who participate in team-based design projects. Final designs from all student teams compete through an online peer review process. In this paper, we describe our model, our assessment methods, and the outcome of the first cohort of teachers and their students.

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