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Research Experience for High School Teachers in Design and Manufacturing

What's New (Please download the brochure.)

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 UH RET summer program has been postponed for one year to Summer 2021. We will post more details in early spring 2021.

For Summer 2021 program, High school STEM teachers will participate in engineering research in advanced design and manufacturing for 6 weeks from June 14 - July 23, 2021.


The 2021 UH RET summer program application will be open for local high school STEM teachers. The priority deadline for application is Feburary 28, 2021. The deadline for application has been extended to March 7, 2021 (post date). Please see the information below for the application procedure. Each teacher will receive $6,300 stipend and a free 3D printer from the 6-week summer program. Please send your inquiry to the Principal Investigator Dr. Weihang Zhu.


As a collaboration between College of Technology (COT) and College of Education (COE), UH has received from National Science Foundation (NSF) a Research Experience for Teachers (RET) site grant serving local high school STEM teachers with a focus on design and manufacturing:

We will host RET site summer program in 2020-2022 for 3 summers. Research topics hosted by the COT Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) faculty may include:
  • Design and Manufacturing, 3D Printing, VR/AR, and Applications (Drs. Zhu/Robles/Basaran)
  • Bio-inspired Design and Manufacturing of Robotic Swimmer (Dr. Fan/Basaran)
  • Modeling and Simulation of Robot Path Planning (Drs. Fan/Zhu/Basaran)
  • Solar Cell Manufacturing (Drs. Robles/Fan/El Nahas)
  • Fluid Mechanics and Industrial Applications (Drs. Alba/El Nahas)
  • Nanotechnology for Water Sustainability through Photo-Catalysts (Drs. Robles/El Nahas)

Activities include workshops, curriculum development, seminars, and field trips to local manufacturing industry. The research experience will be incorporated into high school curriculum that meets Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standard, and aligns with NGSS as well. Co-PI Dr. Augustina Reyes (College of Education) will lead the guidance effort in transforming design and manufacturing knowledge into high school curriculum, supported by Dr. Basaran and Dr. El Nahas. The program will be assessed by COT Director of Assessment Dr. Huda Sarraj.

The program result will be disseminated through local teacher conferences. Each summer program participant will make one presentation in one conference. Each summer program participant will develop at least one high school course module that meets standard for high school students.


Twelve teachers (11 regular teachers and 1 master teacher) will be chosen to participate in the summer RET program.

Eleven Teachers: Each receives a $1,050/week stipend for participation in the six-week summer program and $1,800 upon completion of the implementation and evaluation activities during the following academic year. 

One Master Teacher: $1,150/week stipend. The Master Teacher will have a leadership role in the curriculum development process with a strong knowledge in TEKS, communication and problem solving skills, and a positive attitude. The Master Teacher provides assistance to other teachers in course module development and assessment and hosts Brown Bag Seminars.

Teachers will be responsible for their own lodging, parking, meal and travel expenses.

Every participant will receive a free 3D printer for use at the high school.

How to Apply?

The following materials must be submitted for consideration before the application deadline:
  • Applicants current STEM syllabus
  • Application form
  • A curriculum vitae
  • Recommendation letter from Principal/Assistant Principal
  • 1-2 page essay that addresses the following topics:
    • What are your main reasons for participating in this program?
    • What do you hope to gain from RET experience?
    • Describe professional leadership roles you have held.
    • If chosen, how would you implement your experience with fellow faculty and students?

To be considered for Master Teacher, the applicant must also submit one more 1-page essay describing:

  • Curriculum development experience
  • The biggest challenges for RET participants and how the Master Teacher can help them

Please see the Application form above for more details.