If you were going to tell a colleague about the RET program - what would you say? Would you recommend the program?
I would definitely recommend this program to any qualified colleague. The blend of authentic experience with professional development is certainly rare in my experience (I have had ONE previous experience of the type: a weekend-long ornithology study on Appledore Island, Isles of Shoals through another NSF funded program called the ARMADA project. The rest have consisted of me listening to other people and doing my best to think positive and find the takeaway for my classroom.).
Six weeks in a university laboratory makes this professional development completely different and completely relevant. I come away from this experience having truly learned about plastics, plastics engineering, nanotechnology, and the operation of a variety of tools (thermoformer, optical scopes, drop shape analyzer, dynamic stress analyzer, etc.).
In addition to this wealth of experience, (including insight into the emerging field of nanotechnology and the realities of the laboratory setting), I also developed a working lesson plan and have access to those my colleagues developed (besides implementing my own lesson plan, I plan to run Raphael Matty’s from last year, and he and I plan to collaborate on his lesson plan from this year).
I look forward to bringing this experience to my students this school year (and to future classes) and to participating in the RET program next summer . . . thank you to all who made it possible!