The innovation engine for new materials

RET - Research Experience for Teachers

Summer 2022 Newsletter

Summer 2023 on-line application.  

Applications are accepted year round. 

In this program, local science 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 2023 program information including an approximate timeline and stipend information, please see the "Summer 2023 RET info" pdf to the right.  Applications are accepted year round.   This program does not provide housing, so we are limited to applications from local teachers.

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).  

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 2023.

Are you using a RET curriculum project in your own classroom?  If so, please take our short SURVEY!
For inquiries about this program please contact Frank Kinnaman: frank_kinnaman [at] ucsb [dot] edu.

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

Current RET Curriculum Projects

Riviera Ridge
Rachel Segalman
Audra Destefano
Slime: Engineering Polymers
Matter is everything. Over time, humans have learned to engineer matter to suit our needs. Based off my experience engineering polymers at UCSB Material Science Lab, I...
Santa Maria High School
Chris Bates
Jacob Blankenship
Chemistry: Climate Change and Ocean Acidification
This unit was specifically designed for high school science students currently studying chemistry and each lesson is designed for a 50-minute class period. The focus is on...

Current RET Research Projects

Laser Holography
Research in the Harter lab at UCSB utilizes optical techniques to study the arrangement of atoms within certain materials, specifically using pulsed lasers and precise...
Case Study: Natural Selection on the date to first flower in a widespread California wildflower, Nemophila mensiezii
The Mazer Lab conducts research on understanding and predicting the mechanisms by which plants adapt to ecological risks and opportunities that they encounter. During the...
Surface Modification by DBD Plasma Treatment
This research explored highly localized surface treatment using a dielectric barrier discharge plasma pen. The pen's movement was controlled similarly to a 3D printing...
Measuring Glucose Concentration Using Organic Electrochemical Transistors (OECTs)
Organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs) are useful as biological sensors because they are made of biocompatible materials and require relatively low voltage to operate. A...
Methane Pyrolysis
A major challenge of our time is to decrease the level of greenhouse gases to reduce global warming. Over ninety percent of global hydrogen is produced through a process of...