- "The RET program has been professionally rejuvenating for me. What I have taken from the experience goes beyond the new knowledge I've acquired. I've learned how to use new equipment and procedures, about the research process and how research progresses. In addition I have been connected to resources that will enable me to teach either new topics or teach old topics better. I am now more passionate than ever because I understand the science process better than ever.
"This is my second year in the program and my expectations have been exceeded. I realized from my experience that I really had no idea of how research goes and, in particular, how much failure is experienced before there is success. In fact much is learned from the failure because you have to really search for answers. In addition, I learned how much teamwork goes into research...I definitely want to participate again next year and would encourage all my colleagues to participate."
*Bryan Smith, La Lumiere School - LaPorte, IN
- "The last two summers I have been able to revisit my days as a math student while participating in the RET program at the University of Notre Dame. Two years ago a group of local math teachers with the assistance of Dr. Alex Hahn spent time during the summer developing the Copernicus formulas for planetary motion. We related said formulas to the travels of the Cassini Spacecraft as we monitored daily updates. The days were used to regenerate the math spirit in all of us. Time was spent discussing and reviewing current applicable publications. In addition, favorite class lessons were shared.
Last summer I was fortunate enough to learn and travel with a research group to Japan. We studied the structure of bridges, tunnels, and buildings relating to earthquakes and natural disasters. Presentations were made by all members of the group at The Natural Mitigation and Hazard Symposium located at Tokyo University. My presentation was a PowerPoint presentation relating to my part in preparing future earthquake scientists and engineers. Each day was filled with lectures, tours and group meetings relating to the fore mentioned.
Upon my return I was able to work with the earthquake scientist at Notre Dame, Dr. Kurama, helping him to develop models for fragility curves relating to the available data from decomposition of concrete based upon size and duration of earthquakes. These experiences would not have been possible for me without the RET program at the University of Notre Dame."
*Gene Buczynski, Clay High School - South Bend, IN
- "Participation in the RET program has been the most academically challenging and invigorating professional experience of my career. I was welcomed into a research lab, and while initially overwhelmed, became familiar with the research that had been and was being generated, and its applications. I was able to participate in the research and came away with a renewed appreciation for the scientific process -- from the patience required to obtain successful PCR results to time logged by the determined researchers themselves.
More specifically, my individual research plan was unsuccessful (such is the nature of science); however, I was able to generate new lessons that allowed me to make definitive connections between genetics, populations, and evolution--all based on current research. I was also able to collaborate with colleagues from other disciplines and other schools, not only about research, but about various other educational issues as well. Above all, the partnerships that develop between the University and secondary schools are ones that enhance curriculum development, and allow teachers to provide unique, cutting-edge lessons to tomorrow's researchers."
*Teresa Pairitz, Marian High School - Mishawaka, IN