NSF Grant to Enrich Research Experiences for STEM Teachers


Dr. Weihang Zhu, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering Technology
Dr. Weihang Zhu, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering Technology
Dr. Augustina Reyes, Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Dr. Augustina Reyes, Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

A grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will help University of Houston (UH) College of Technology researchers offer innovative programs for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educators. The $579,490 NSF Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) grant will support the development of a host site where teachers will focus on innovative engineering design and manufacturing research and develop advanced high school STEM curriculum modules. The engineering  technology research project entitled, “RET Site: High School Teacher Experience in Engineering Design and Manufacturing,”  is being led by mechanical engineering technology (MET) professor Weihang Zhu, principal investigator (PI); and, educational leadership professor, Augustina H. Reyes, co-PI.  Several mechanical engineering technology faculty members will work in partnership with Zhu and Reyes, including Kamran Alba, Burak Basaran, Medhat El Nahas, Zheng Fan, and Francisco Robles.  Assessment of the project will be completed by Huda Sarraj, director of assessment and accreditation services.  

The UH team will fulfill a vital training and development need for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educators, especially from high schools in underserved communities. “We look forward to working with the community to improve K-12 education in the Houston metropolitan area. The NSF grant provides a timely opportunity to address the new high school STEM curriculum requirement and is coincident with the booming demand for career and technical educators,” said Zhu.

The RET program will begin in summer 2020. Applications are open for the 2020 summer program. For more information, see uh.edu/tech/coss/ret-cot .