Penn State’s Interdisciplinary Materials Research Experience for Teachers Program (RET)

 June 27 – August 5  2016

Click Here for our 2016_RET

The Physics Department and Center for Nanoscale Science jointly host a NSF funded Research Experience for Teachers (RET).

The goal of the RET program at Penn State is to provide opportunities to the participating STEM teachers to engage in hands-on research projects with faculty mentors in Materials Chemistry, Physics and Nanotechnology. Engineering, technology, science and math teachers and pre-service teachers with broad interests across disciplines are eligible to apply.

The chosen teachers taking part in this six-week program will receive hands-on nanoscience and technology experience through research, with applications to bio-engineering, chemistry, electronics, materials science, optics, optoelectronics, physics, and life sciences. A scientific mini-symposium, attended by the participating teachers, provides the RET teachers the opportunity to present their research work to their peers in an oral and a poster presentation. In addition, teachers work together in the development of lesson plans, oral and poster presentations, and papers for publication. The RET participating teachers have the option to request a supplemental grant to implement activities related to the research experience in their classrooms.

Physics, Materials Science and Engineering and MRSEC faculty and Research Associates and Postdoctoral Scholars are working to build collaborative relationships between K-12 teachers and the research community, supporting the active participation of in-service teachers and pre-teachers in research and education projects, and providing the students of the RET participants with the appropriate content, skills and career information to influence their future careers and competition in STEM education. The goal is that teachers  who have more experience with science content and the development of hands-on activities will contribute to enhance the quality of STEM instruction.

Example summer schedule from 2015: 2015_RET_Schedule

To Apply:

Click here for online application

Along with the application form, your application should include:

  • Two letters of recommendation, one of which should be from your school principal. These letters may be submitted separately by mail or e-mail to the address below
  • A current resume
  • A student demographic profile (optional)
  • A sample of a lesson you have designed and implemented in your classroom

Application deadline has been extended to March 15, 2016.  Award notification letters will be sent out by Friday, April 1, 2016.


Sydney Chamberlin, Ph.D.STEM Education and Outreach Specialist
Center for Nanoscale Science

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802
E-mail: smc6287 @   (remove spaces)
Phone: (814) 867-2461
Fax: (814) 863-3949