Sample RET Proposals

Sample RET Proposals

Cellular and Molecular Biology Sample RET Proposal

Mathematics Sample RET Proposal

Physics Sample RET Proposal

RET Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology - SAMPLE PROPOSAL

Introduction: The Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame proposes two REU supplements for local high school biology teachers to participate in full time summer research for 5 weeks. The teachers will:

  1. Carry out research with a faculty mentor in Biological Sciences who is also a mentor in our REU program
  2. Collaborate with REU undergraduate students in the research laboratory
  3. Meet weekly with RET teachers from Math, Chemistry, and Physics in a University sponsored interdisciplinary science consortium
  4. Partner with in-service teachers in the ACE Master of Education Program at Notre Dame
  5. Develop at least two inquiry based laboratories or projects to use in their classroom in the upcoming year.

The program will be administered by the PI and co-PI of the REU program, Michelle Whaley and Sunny Boyd, respectively. These faculty can also serve as mentors, as well as three other faculty in the REU program. The REU teacher will most likely be placed in a laboratory with an REU student, especially if the REU student has an interest in teaching as a career.

Intellectual Merit: The RET teacher will gain invaluable expertise carrying out an independent research project in the area of cellular or molecular biology. This knowledge will then be translated into new curriculum, especially laboratory curriculum, that is essential to educated students in modern biology and attract young student into science careers.

Broader Impact: The REU teacher will develop at least two inquiry based laboratories or projects to use in their classroom in the upcoming year. They will be encouraged and supported to publish or present this curriculum at the regional or national level. All curriculum materials developed by the teachers will be disseminated on the Notre Dame RET web site. The teacher will have an ongoing partnership with the Notre Dame faculty mentor which will result in classroom visits by the professor, equipment loans, visits to Notre Dame, etc.

Projects: Teachers will be able to choose from the following mentors and projects. There is significant flexibility where a teacher can design his or her own project or work on an existing project in the research laboratory. Two projects are listed with details. Three other project titles are listed. All five mentors are in the REU program, have a proven record of research mentorship, and are eager to work with high school teachers. They also use inquiry methods in their own teaching and have current knowledge regarding high school biology education and the national science standards.

1. Comparative Analysis of Photoreceptor Cell Types in the Compound Eyes of Insects. Project Advisor: Michelle Whaley (PI)

Introduction: Analysis of the genome content of many different organisms now allows comparative studies into the expression of genes in particular tissues and cell types. Members of the rhodopsin family of visual pigments are expressed in subsets of photoreceptor cells to tune the photoreceptor to colors of light. Analysis of this gene family in many insects, including ants, butterflies, fruit flies and mosquitoes has shown a wide scope of the type and number of these genes in different genomes. In this project we seek to understand the cellular architecture of each compound eye relative to the expression of these individual genes.

Research Projects: The teacher will play a key role in one or more of the following projects: 1. Gene cloning work to prepare gene expression constructs to allow visual pigments found in other insects to be expressed and characterized in Drosophila melanogaster, 2. Drosophila genetic crosses and mating schemes to characterize transgenic strains and place transgenes in required genetic backgrounds, 3. histological examination of the retinal organization in the insects, providing description of the cellular anatomy and the cells expressing particular visual pigments, 4) electroretingram analysis of the visual pigment.

Transfer to the Classroom: Drosophila is a genetic model organism that is easy to manipulate and rear. The PI can offer the high school teacher a variety of stocks, genes, and equipment to carry out a laboratory or research project. Some ideas for an inquiry project are: 1) the introduction to genomes via a computer based analysis of visual pigments from insect genome data on-line, 2) the study of genetic inheritance by observing an interesting phenotype and how it is transmitted to the next generation, 3) the examination of a phenotype in a mutant fly followed by the cloning the gene causing that trait via PCR and analyzing the molecular defect through DNA sequencing, 4) the study of genes that interact with each other through epistasis crosses, etc.

2. Neuropeptide Modulation of Vertebrate Behaviors.

Project Advisor: Sunny Boyd (co-PI)

Introduction: The long-term objective of this research program is to identify the interactions among chemical messengers that control behaviors. Neuropeptides and steroid hormones alter a variety of vertebrate behaviors, including parental, aggressive, and reproductive behaviors. The mechanisms of action of these compounds and the site in the brain where they act on specific behaviors are poorly understood. We currently focus on the neurohypophysical peptides which modulate the display of vocalizations in vertebrates. Vocal behavior is a critical component in social interactions of many species, including humans.

Research Projects: Projects will be designed to provide experience at both the whole-animal behavior level and also at the cellular and molecular level of investigation. Teachers will thus (1) analyze the effects of peptides and steroids on animal behavior, (2) localize peptides, steroids and their receptors in the brain, and/or (3) sequence genes involved in the synthesis of these factors or their receptors.

Transfer to the Classroom:

3. The Genetic and Developmental Basis of Divergence in Drosophila

Project Advisor: Hope Hollocher

4. Molecular Genetic Analysis of Zebrafish Eye Development and Retinal Regeneration. Project Advisor: David R. Hyde

5. Avian Ovarian Follicle Selection Mediated by Release from Inhibitory MAP Kinase Signaling. Project Advisor: Alan Johnson

Enrichment Activities: Weekly workshops and seminars will be incorporated into the RET experience. One weekly meeting will be with the REU students in the department. At these meetings, faculty will present their work so that the students and teachers have a larger framework of the research that happens in a given field. In addition, topics such as interdisciplinary research, research ethics, the graduate school application process, science teaching as a career, etc. will help the teachers mentor their high school students into science majors in college.

The second weekly meeting will be over lunch with RET teachers in other departments. This consortium of science teachers will be organized and supported by the director of the Kaneb Teaching and Learning Center at Notre Dame, professor Alex Hahn. Currently, physics, math, and chemistry already have research programs for approximately 16 teachers total. This consortium will provide seminars on various topics such as:

  1. Guided versus open inquiry
  2. How to conduct laboratories on a shoe string budget
  3. How to develop research projects and programs at the high school level, etc. There is a strong contingency of faculty at Notre Dame who have experience with these topics. They are Thomas Doyle (academic director of the ACE Program), Karen Morris (outreach coordinator in the College of Science), Randal Ruchti (Director of the Quarknet program in physics), Joe Belina (__________), Michelle Whaley (instructor of the ACE science education course). All of these faculty are part of the consortium and will be working on bringing effective instruction to each teacher. The teachers themselves will build strong alliances with each other which will provide a network of educators in the community that are partnered with Notre Dame.

The third weekly meeting will be with ACE teachers who are student teaching in the Upward Bound Program at Notre Dame. This program serves high school students from underrepresented groups. The ACE teachers will gain valuable insight from the RET teachers not only for their summer teaching, but in their upcoming first year of teaching. The ACE students will bring an energy and excitement for the teaching profession that is contagious!

The teachers in the consortium will present their work at the RET Summer Symposium. This all day symposium will be coordinated by the Kaneb Center and will include a lunch and dinner.

Recruitment and Selection: The four biology teachers who have participated in our BIOLINKS program will have first priority to be selected for a RET position. The BIOLINKS program partners with teachers to bring a one week lesson on biotechnology (DNA fingerprinting) to the Biology I classroom. The program offers an inquiry based lesson plan packet that includes background information, experimental protocols, homework, and a quiz. It also provides supplies, equipment, and TAs (Notre Dame graduate and undergraduate student volunteers). This program was co-developed by the PI. The BIOLINKS teachers have already shown interest and commitment and would greatly benefit from a research project in the cell/molecular area. They would then be able to modify the biotech lesson, develop new and more effective lessons, and carry out DNA laboratories independently in future years. If we do not fill our positions in this way, we will advertise and recruit from public and private high schools in the Northern Indiana and Southwest lower Michigan areas.

Transfer of Research Experience to the Classroom
The teacher and mentor will create new curriculum to bring back to the teacher’s classroom during the academic year. This curriculum will be inquiry based and will be disseminated on the Notre Dame RET web site. The mentor will be involved in the teacher’s classroom through class visits, equipment loans, and meeting with the teacher as needed. The teacher will also be encouraged and supported to present the material they develop at regional or national meetings, or publish in a science education journal. We anticipate that the partnership of the teacher and Notre Dame professor will be ongoing for many years.

Academic Credit
The department of Biological Sciences will hire the teachers as research associates will create a 2 credit course (BIOS 598) for the teachers. This allows them to take one class for free and therefore receive continuing education credit for their efforts.

Tracking and Assessment
The Kaneb Center will provide the administrative support to track all RET teachers in the consortium and send pre-program and post-program questionnaires. They will also assess the impact of the program on the development of the teacher, and the instruction given to his or her students.

Budget Justification

Per teacher Total

  • Stipend for five weeks: $5,000 - $10,000
  • Supplies: $1,000-$2,000
  • Professional development: $800-$1,600
  • And/or classroom development

TOTAL: $6,400-$12,800

The teacher will earn $1,000 per week for full time research (40+ hours) for five weeks. Cell/molecular work is expensive and therefore we are asking for $10,00 for supplies during the summer research period. The $800 for development will be used for publication costs and/or travel to a professional meeting. It can also be used to buy new supplies or equipment that is needed to carry out the newly developed inquiry projects.

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Notre Dame RET Program in Mathematics - SAMPLE PROPOSAL

Introduction : The Department of Mathematics at the University of Notre Dame proposes an RET program for local high school mathematics teachers to participate in a four week research exploration during the summer of 2005. It calls for an expansion of a research experience in mathematics for teachers conducted at Notre Dame during the summer of 2004 with funding from the university. The teachers of the proposed RET will:

  1. Participate in a three hour, five day a week, hands on workshop
  2. Meet weekly with RET teachers from biology, chemistry, and physics in a University sponsored interdisciplinary science consortium
  3. Partner with in-service teachers in the ACE Masters of Education Program at Notre Dame
  4. Develop at least one inquiry based mathematics modules for use in their classroom in the upcoming year.

The program will be supervised by Professor Frank Connolly, the PI of Notre Dame’s REU Program in Mathematics, and administered by Trisha Metz, administrative assistant of Notre Dame’s Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning. Professors Jeff Diller and Alex Hahn will serve as mentors for the proposed program. Margaret Doig, a senior mathematics major in the department, will be the Teaching Assistant. Diller and Hahn are mathematics professors at Notre Dame with many years of experience in research and teaching at all levels of mathematics. Doig has been a participant in two REU experiences in Duluth, Minnesota. She placed second in the prestigious Alice Schafer competition that is sponsored yearly by the Association for Women in Mathematics.

Intellectual Merit: The RET teachers will raise their level of understanding of relevant mathematics by engaging important topics in a “hands on” way in the workshop. They will be able to transform what they have learned into new curricular materials that will improve the mathematics abilities of their students and hopefully stimulate them to consider a career in science. Each of the proposed topics is accessible to high school mathematics teachers, but each also leads naturally to many substantial and interesting mathematical issues. The teaching assistant and mentors will introduce the topics, providing background and initial exercises as necessary, but the goal will be to shift the focus to the teachers who will pose and investigate questions according to their own interests and abilities. The mentors and assistant will serve as catalysts and advisors in the process.

Broader Impact: The curricular materials developed by the teachers will be disseminated on the Notre Dame RET web site. The teachers will be encouraged to present these curricular insertions at local, regional, or national levels. The larger RET program at Notre Dame engages high school teachers of physics, chemistry, biology, as well as technology and engineering. Including mathematics teachers will have a significant impact on the level of academic sophistication of the participating high school science and technology teachers. The curricular materials that the collective of RET programs of Notre Dame will produce could have an impact on a wider audience of teachers.

Workshops : Teachers engage one or more topics of relevant, horizon expanding, mathematics. Below is a list of possibilities. Final choices will be made in consultation with the participating teachers.

A. Elementary Coding Theory (ISBN code, constructing good codes).

B. Strange Curves (A curve constructed with tiles, Peano curves, related computer programs).

C. Some Elementary Number Theory (Fermat’s Little Theorem, modular arithmetic, RSA encryption).

D. Some Probability Theory (Shared birthdays, normal bell curves).

E. Rational and Irrational Numbers ( and e, and Euler’s argument).

F. Fibonacci Sequences and the Golden Ratio (Occurrences of Fibonacci in art and nature, some of the theory).

G. Population Models, Fractals, and Dynamical Systems (applications of elementary calculus).

H. Elementary Calculus and the Flight Paths of Spacecraft (The full set of procedures of basic one variable calculus in action, combined with NASA data from the Voyagers and Cassini).

There are excellent elementary texts in all these areas. Additional modules on the topics F and H have already been prepared by the mentors. Last year’s Notre Dame sponsored and supported summer program engaged topic H with five high school teachers from the region.

Enrichment Activities: There will be a weekly seminar over lunch with all participating RET teachers in the other disciplines. These will include teachers pursuing biology, chemistry, physics, and nano-technology and engineering. This colloquium of teachers will be organized and supported by the Kaneb Teaching and Learning Center at Notre Dame. During the past summer, there were between 20 and 25 teachers at Notre Dame pursuing research in these areas. The Kaneb Center will organize presentations on pedagogical topics such as:

  1. Generating critical thinking in the classroom
  2. Articulating learning goals, aligning assignments and examinations with these goals, and assessing learning outcomes
  3. Developing research projects and programs at the high school level. There is a strong contingent of faculty at Notre Dame who have experience with these topics. The people involved in these collaborative seminars will be Thomas Doyle (academic director of the ACE Program), Karen Morris (outreach coordinator in the College of Science), Randal Ruchti (Director of the QuarkNet program in physics), Joe Bellina (Professor of Chemistry and Physics at neighboring St. Mary’s College), Michelle Whaley (instructor of the ACE science education course), and Kevin Barry (special professional faculty member at the Kaneb Center). All of these faculty members are part of the consortium and will work with the teachers to enhance both the content and the effectiveness of their instruction. The teachers themselves will form a strong community that will provide a network of educators in the region that is partnered with Notre Dame. A second weekly meeting will be with pre-service ACE Program teachers who are student teaching in the Upward Bound Program at Notre Dame. This program serves high school students from underrepresented groups. The ACE teachers will gain valuable insight and materials from the RET teachers not only for their summer teaching, but in their upcoming first year of teaching. The ACE students will bring an energy and excitement for the teaching profession that is contagious! This partnership is especially valuable since the ACE teachers will be able to discuss teaching with professionals in their own discipline to design cohesive lesson, unit and course plans in detail. The teachers will present their work at the RET Summer Symposium. This all day symposium will be coordinated by the Kaneb Center and will include a lunch and dinner.

Recruitment and Selection: Notre Dame has developed contacts with many high school teachers in the region in recent years. This includes five mathematics teachers who participated in last year’s summer program. It includes the four teachers of the BIOLINKS program that the Department of Biological Sciences has conducted. It includes the two dozen or so teachers of the Notre Dame QuarkNet program in high energy physics, as well as the three teachers who participated in last summer’s Notre Dame Nano program. These teachers provide contact points to many of the high schools in the region that the administrative resources of the Kaneb Center will exploit.

Transfer of Research Experience to the Classroom: The teacher and mentor will create new curricular modules for use in the teacher’s classroom during the academic year. These modules will be inquiry based and will be disseminated on the Notre Dame RET web site. The teachers will develop these in a collaborative way with the assistance of the mentors. The teachers will also be encouraged and supported to present the material they develop at regional or national meetings, or publish in a science education journal.

Academic Credit: We are exploring the possibility of college credit for the 60 hours of mathematics that these teachers will pursue.

Tracking and Assessment: The Kaneb Center will provide the administrative support to track all RET teachers and to send pre-program and post-program questionnaires. They will also assess the impact of the program on the development of the teachers as well as the instructions they give to their students.


  • $1,500 for each of 10 teachers: $15,000
  • Travel and Living Expenses and Honorarium for the Notre Dame Teaching Assistant: $4,300
  • Honoraria for the presenters of the enrichment Workshops: $500
  • Supplies (books, copying) and lunches: $600

TOTAL: $20,400 

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Physics Project Description - SAMPLE PROPOSAL

Results from prior years:
The Notre Dame RET program supports up to 12 teachers per year in summer research in the Notre Dame Department of Physics. The program has evolved from the Notre Dame QuarkNet Center, and Notre Dame is one of the lead/PI institutions in that important national program. Within a circle of 50km radius centered on South Bend, Indiana and covering the Northern Indiana, Southwest Lower Michigan area, there are approximately 50 high schools. All of these institutions were contacted by mail and phone to identify potential physics and science teachers who might be interested in a summer research experience in physics. Of these, approximately 40% (or teachers from 20 schools) responded and have expressed an interest in an immersive research opportunity. Of these, approximately 16 teachers have been active per year, and ¾ of these are supported through the RET supplement to our NSF REU site program. It is also worth noting that we have also attracted several teachers to our program from well beyond the 50km radius - from the Hammond, Indiana and Chicago, Illinois area.

Our plan has been to provide a physics mentor for each of the participating teachers and have the teachers work on a research topic suggest by the mentor and agreeable to both parties. Each teacher has an 8-week research experience, the bulk of which is carried out during the summer months, but there is in principle no restriction on setting aside several of the research weeks later in the academic year if that is deemed important by the mentor and teachers (for example a beam test or experimental opportunity at a lab, that schedules experiments at selected times for operational reasons such as the DØ experiment at Fermilab or the CMS experiment at CERN). Another feature of our program is that we do not restrict the number of summers that a teacher can participate in the program. We have found this to have enormous practical advantages. Mentors can invest significant time in bringing the teacher “up to speed” in a research area during the first year. In subsequent years, the teacher is no longer “green” in research experience, and becomes a more effective research team member. Teachers build a strong and effective working relationship with a mentor and his research group and invariably wish to continue work in the same research area in subsequent years. Mentors are keen to continue the research relationship with the teachers. From a research productivity standpoint, this is a win-win situation. Teacher research has been focused principally in Particle Physics, Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics.

Intellectual Merit:
The typical summer program has included the following opportunities: 8-weeks of research in physics; one week’s participation in the Associate Teacher Institute at the Notre Dame QuarkNet Center; weekly seminars and colloquia, organized in cooperation with the Notre Dame NSF/REU Site Program and attended additionally by Notre Dame faculty, staff and graduate students; tours of nearby (regional) scientific laboratories such as Fermilab, Argonne National Lab, and the Michigan State Cyclotron Laboratory; and visits to science museums such as the Adler Planetarium.

The Notre Dame QuarkNet Center, which is also the host site for this RET program, serves as a meeting base for the teachers. Desks and computer facilities are available as well as a conference room. The QuarkNet Center is conveniently located near the Notre Dame Campus, and the building also houses one of the principal laboratories for Particle Physics on the Campus.

Examples of research experiences for the teachers include:

  1. Fabrication of fiber-optic waveguides for the DØ Central Fiber Tracker. RET teachers Beth Beiersdorf-Marchant, Maggie Jensen, and Ken Andert and a team of six high school students under the direction of Professor Mitch Wayne and Research Engineer Barry Baumbaugh built over 300 waveguide fiber optic bundles containing 256 individual fibers of 8m-15m lengths. These are now active elements of the DØ experiment, studying top quarks, and searching for evidence of Higgs Bosons, Supersymmetry, and hidden extra dimensions at the Fermilab Tevatron II Collider. With the support of this team of non-traditional researchers, the fiber waveguide project was completed on schedule.
  2. Fabrication of optical decoder units for the CMS Hadron Calorimeter. RET teachers Jeff Chorny and Dale Wiand and a several teams of six high school students under the direction of Dr. Dan Karmgard and Research Technicians Michael McKenna and Mark Vigneault, have built 360 ODU for the CMS barrel and end cap calorimeters. These units have been tested in beam conditions in the H2 beam line at CERN and will be installed into the CMS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider in calendar year 2004.
  3. Research and development into fast, highly efficient green scintillators and waveshifters. RET teachers Ken Andert and Helene Daugherty and 8 high school students under the direction of Prof. Randy Ruchti, Dr. James Bishop, Dr. Dan Karmgard, Research Engineer Barry Baumbaugh, and Technician Mark Vigneault, have identified, developed and characterized several outstanding new organic waveshifters for potential application in CMS calorimetry and trigger applications and for possible application to the detector of the Linear Collider. Ken Andert presented a talk on this research at DPF2002 at the College of William and Mary. Refined data has been presented at IEEE/NSS 2003 Portland, Oregon.
  4. Development of gamma ray spectroscopy for Nuclear Physics. RET teacher Kevin Johnston and under the direction of Prof. Ani Aprahamian and post doctoral fellows and graduate students of the Nuclear Group have developed and tested elements for a Germanium detector array used at the Notre Dame Tandem accelerator facility.
  5. Development of a 3He recovery system. RET teacher Ed Fidler, under the direction of Dr. Larry Lamm and postdocs and students of the Nuclear Group have helped to renovate a recovery system for an important Helium isotope at the Notre Dame Tandem Laboratory.
  6. Development and operation of a cosmic ray air shower facility. RET teachers Calvin Schwarzendruber and Jerry Van Laeke and under the direction of Prof. John Poirier and maintained and operated tracking chambers for the 64 element cosmic ray air shower array (Project GRAND – gamma ray astrophysics at Notre Dame).
  7. Development of a Web Interface for Grid Portal for data analysis of cosmic ray data from High Schools, in collaboration with Grid Computing experts at Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Chicago and Fermilab. RET teachers Lynda Rose and Ed Fidler and two high school students and under the direction of Prof. Pat Mooney developed a Web interface to allow teacher and student access to data from cosmic ray detectors at schools which can be correlated by time stamps from GPS monitors associated with the detectors. This effort has been more recently extended and refined by QuarkNet Staff and computer experts at Fermilab and Argonne National Lab for demonstration at the Super Computer Meeting in Phoenix, AZ, November 2003, and at the United Nations organized RSIS Symposium at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland December 2003.

Teachers have received graduate research credit (PHYS 598) in their sub-discipline of activity. High school student researchers too have received undergraduate research credit (PHYS098). The University of Notre Dame has contributed this (significant) academic credit opportunity at no cost to the teachers and students as an in-kind contribution. Several teachers have used the accumulated credits to satisfy several levels of professional development and advancement and teaching accreditation.

At the close of the 8-Week Summer Research Program, teachers participate in the REU/RET Symposium, during which the participants present the results of their summer research projects to the Notre Dame Physics Department. Some of these are of sufficient import, that the results are presented additionally at national and regional meetings of various physical societies (DPF, APS) and professional societies (AAPT, HASTI).

Broader Impacts of the Program:
The QuarkNet Center and the RET program have allowed us to establish a vibrant research community which includes the traditional participants: faculty, research staff, and graduate and undergraduate students, and now also includes non-traditional research participants: high school teachers and high school students.

The Center is also the home base for the Michiana Physics Teachers Association, which holds quarterly meetings during the year – and draws teachers, students, and faculty from local schools and regional universities such as Goshen College, Andrews University, and Indiana University at South Bend in addition to Notre Dame participants. The RET program has energized this group – that now boasts numerous participants at the meetings rather than the sparse attendance of past years.

Additionally, the RET teachers have decided to meet weekly at the QuarkNet Center all year (with a break during the month of August), to plan outreach activities, develop classroom transfer projects, and to plan for selected group members to attend professional meetings (such as AAPT national and regional meetings, APS and DPF meetings. In this area, the RET Teachers and the QuarkNet Center have taken on a considerable role in the regional science outreach program called “Science Alive” and held annually in February at the St. Joseph County Public Library in downtown South Bend. The group fills a large room with scientific displays directed toward K-8 students and their families – such as a portable cosmic ray detector, a cloud chamber, mechanics interactive displays such as “Shoot the Monkey”, Atomic Spectra viewed through diffraction gratings, an electron beam tube, and a laser setup to measure the diameter of the hair of participants. Typically several thousand visitors pass through the exhibit, which is manned by our RET and QuarkNet teachers and high school students from their classes.

Affiliated with this RET program is an Notre Dame sponsored program which we call “REHS” for Research Experiences for High School Students. This allows high school students to similarly receive 8-week immersive research experiences in physics and is supported from matching funds from the University of Notre Dame and from resources from particle physics experiments that have detector construction projects such as DØ and CMS. This REHS program, now in its fifth year and spawned from this RET program and QuarkNet Center, is a pilot for the new nationwide QuarkNet program of high school student research in particle physics which starts this fiscal year.

In summary, the RET program has allowed us to establish and maintain a vibrant research community associated with the Physics Department at Notre Dame. While QuarkNet has provided the concept and start of the Notre Dame Center and has provided national links to QuarkNet Centers and RET programs elsewhere, it has been our RET program that has provided the growth and sustaining power for our activities for half a decade. The Notre Dame RET program and QuarkNet Center serves as an exemplar for other programs seeking education components at the University and elsewhere in the country.

Proposed work and planning for Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005
For the two-year period of the current request, we intend to continue aggressively to build and enrich our Notre Dame center with immersive research experiences for high school teachers and students. Support for teacher research will come from this RET supplement grant. Support for high school student research will come from the Notre Dame sponsored REHS program and from experimental projects such as CMS, QuarkNet, and possibly from new, competitive opportunities such as the Linear Collider. The presence of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA), a new NSF Physics Frontier Center sited at Notre Dame, has the potential for unprecedented research immersion opportunities for high school teachers and students in Nuclear Physics and Nuclear Astrophysics.

We intend to support up to 12 teachers per year through this RET program. Potential research projects (with committed mentors) include:

  1. Scintillator and Waveshifter R and D for LHC/CMS upgrades (Prof. Ruchti)
  2. Linear Collider Calorimetry and Triggering R and D (Profs. Wayne and Karmgard)
  3. DØ Data Analysis of New Phenomena (Prof. Goussiou)
  4. Grid Computing Applications (Prof Mooney)
  5. CMS Calorimetry Beam Tests and Installation (Profs. Ruchti and Karmgard)
  6. Nuclear Physics and Nuclear Astrophysics Experiments (Profs Aprahamian, and Lamm)
  7. Cosmic-Ray Air Shower Array and Data Analysis (Prof. Poirier)
  8. Studies of the Big Bang and Stellar Evolution (Prof. Mathews)
  9. Physics and scientific program management (Prof. Hyder)

Teachers will continue to be involved in the development and use of classroom transfer activities, and to develop inquiry-based teaching styles. Examples include:

  1. Modeling of mechanics and other topics (Developed by Arizona State University)
  2. Assembly and operation of cosmic ray detectors.
  3. Use of various activities from the QuarkNet Website and the Contemporary Physics Education Project (such as “The Particle Adventure”).
  4. Direct uses of data from experiments to illustrate energy and momentum and their conservation and special relativity.
  5. Assisting in the direction of high school student research as part of this program, but supported through matching funds from Notre Dame and from experimental construction and R and D projects. Students will receive undergraduate academic credit in physics (PHYS 098) for their participation.

We intend that teachers will:

  1. Have an assigned mentor and an 8-week immersive research experience.
  2. Receive academic credit for their research in the graduate course PHYS 598 and for appropriate professional advancement.
  3. Have opportunities to participate continuously at the Notre Dame QuarkNet Center during the summer and also during the academic year as their time and schedules allow.
  4. Have opportunities for travel to physical society and professional society meetings to present their results and interact with colleagues.
  5. Have opportunities to develop classroom transfer materials for instructional use.
  6. Have the opportunity to take advantage of other science research programs such as the QuarkNet National Program (and QuarkNet lead teacher and associate teacher institutes), other RET programs – for example RET at CERN sponsored by Northeastern University, USCMS Teacher Fellowships, Linear Collider Teacher Fellowships, and Siemens Foundation Programs.
  7. Know that they are active and valued members of the scientific research community.

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