A three-year, $600,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant is awarded to MSU’s RET in Engineering and Computer Science Site: Smart Sensors and Sensing Systems. This RET program is part of MSU’s outreach in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and is led by Wen Li (PI), associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, Drew Kim (project manager and co-PI), assistant to the dean for recruitment, scholarship, and K-12 outreach in the MSU College of Engineering, and Xiaobo Tan (senior personnel), MSU Foundation Professor of electrical and computer engineering.
The new Site builds on the success of the last RET experience -- Robotics Engineering for Better Life and Sustainable Future. It will continue to develop a strong partnership between MSU and middle/high schools in the greater Lansing-Detroit-Grand Rapids area on advancing pre-college science and engineering education by training a cadre of leaders of middle and high school teachers in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The program will recruit teachers from schools in Mid- and Southeast Michigan with a focus on those serving socioeconomically challenged populations and students from groups traditionally underrepresented in science and engineering. The three-year project will train 11 teachers a year by involving them in cutting-edge research and other professional development activities at MSU. Based on their research experiences, the teachers will develop innovative curriculum materials, which will be brought back to their classroom as well as shared online through TeachEngineering.org.
Six faculty members from electrical and computer engineering, Profs. Wen Li, Andrew Mason, Nelson Sepulveda, Xiaobo Tan, Lalita Udpa, and Chuan Wang, will serve as faculty mentors to provide research opportunities and mentoring to RET teachers. The project also involves faculty members from departments of biosystems and agricultural engineering, computer science and engineering, and mechanical engineering to provide teachers with cutting-edge research experience.
The project is a collaboration with the College of Education and the Center for Engineering Education Research (CEER) in the College of Engineering. Margo Glew, from the College of Education, will serve as a curriculum development specialist. Claudia E. Vergara, from CEER, will be the program evaluator.