The innovation engine for new materials

RET - Research Experience for Teachers

Summer 2020 on-line application.

In this program, secondary school teachers participate in laboratory research under the mentorship of MRL graduate, post-doctoral and faculty researchers. Teachers work collaboratively to translate their research experiences into the development of inquiry-based lab projects for science classrooms.  The total teacher stipend over the course of the two year program is $10,000.

For 2020 program information including an approximate timeline and stipend information, please see the "Summer 2020 RET info" pdf to the right.  Applications are accepted year round.  Primary consideration for applications before March 18th.  This program does not provide housing, so we are limited to applications from local teachers.

Summer 2020 on-line application.

Information on our current teacher-intern projects is below, for past projects please visit: View and Search Past Teacher Projects.  (Each teachers individual web page has links to resources of their classrom projects).  Are you using a RET curriculum project in your own classroom?  If so, please take our short SURVEY!

For the first summer of the MRL RET program (RET1), teachers are placed as interns in UCSB research groups for 6 weeks. For the second summer of participation (RET2), teachers work for 4 weeks developing a science curriculum for presentation to their colleagues at our annual workshop.  Participants are encouraged to develop units in which students will collect hands-on scientific data, make responsible conclusions about the meaning of the data and communicating their findings to other students.

The teaching resources developed by the teachers will be presented at annual workshops for science teachers throughout the Santa Barbara County area. The next workshop will be in March 2020.
For inquiries about this program please contact Frank Kinnaman.

An Education Project at the Materials Research Laboratory
Sponsored by the National Science Foundation

Current RET Curriculum Projects

Olive Grove Charter School
Andrew Jayich
Mingyu Fan
The Color of Flame
This project looks to improve students understanding of the light spectrum along with a few of its connections to the real world.  The four main sections include an...
RJ Frank Middle School
Susan Mazer
Susan Mazer and Amber Eule-Nashoba
Seed Dispersal as an Introduction to Ecology
In this unit students will be investigating seed dispersal. Students will examine the types of seed dispersal, the many unique seed structures needed for seed dispersal, and...
Olive Grove Charter School
Libe Washburn
Eduardo Romero, David Salazar
Developing a Small Scale Underwater Robot to Investigate Aquatic Ecosystems
This unit consists of 4 lessons focused on physical properties of water and how these properties effect deep water ocean circulation and the design of equipment to be used in...
Olive Grove Charter School
Chris Bates
Jeff Self
Amazing Polymers and The Infinite Variability of Plastic
This unit is designed for grades nine through twelve and looks at the intermolecular forces involved in plastic manufacture.  Plastic is part of nearly every aspect of life...

Current RET Research Projects

Multi-Principal Element Alloys: Exploration, Design, and Understanding
Metallic materials have proven immensely useful, with specific applications in different naval systems, like ships, submarines, sea-based aircraft, and hypersonic vehicles....
Evolution and Fitness in Nemophila Menziesii
I worked in Dr Susan Mazer's Greenhouse, Alpine room, and Botany Lab in her NSF funded research on adaptation of plants (specifically Nemophila menziessi) to changing...
Designing a Soft yet Conductive Polymer Network
Polymer chemistry is a branch of chemistry that focuses on making large molecules (POLYmers) made of repeating smaller units (MONOmers). Common polymers you’ve probably heard...
Microplasma Jet Modification of Polymer Surfaces
Multifunctional surfaces found in nature have received significant interest from the scientific community because they provide careful control of surface chemistry and...