The innovation engine for new materials

RET - Research Experience for Teachers

Summer 2021 on-line application. *It is our current plan to conduct the summer 2021 RET program as usual, with modification to allow for consideration of Covid-19.

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 2021 program information including an approximate timeline and stipend information, please see the "Summer 2021 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.

Summer 2021 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 2022.
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

Monte Vista Middle School
Colleen Reynolds
Tresa Pollock
The Story of the Bad Apple
Following a 6E model, this phenomena-based unit is designed in accordance with the NGSS standards. Although created for the middle school level, it can be adapted to fit the...
Ramon Cortines High School of Visual and Performing Arts
Susan Mazer
Susan Mazer
Think Global, Act Local
This is a high school lesson on the micro-effects of global warming in localized environments. It is a comparison analysis of various cities and their attempts to reduce heat...
Santa Barbara High School
Chris Bates
Jeff Self
How do molecular changes affect properties of stuff?
This is a high school level 5E lesson in accordance with the Next Generation Science standards for a Chemistry in the Earth System course. It covers basic intermolecular...
Sanger High School
Mike Gordon
Oleksandr Polonskyi
Chemistry in Agriculture
This project is a series of investigations designed to be used in combination with lectures on how chemistry is used in agriculture. The activities address various NGSS...

Current RET Research Projects

Identifying small molecules in bioluminescent crustaceans
Bioluminescence, the biochemical production of light in a living organism, is an ecologically important trait that independently evolved at least 90 times across lifeforms. ...
Estimating Crop Yields in South Sudan
Many people rely in South Sudan rely on international aid to meet basic food needs.  Having accurate estimates of crop land is required for correctly estimating crop yields...
A Science Learning Sequence
The science learning sequence (SLS) is designed to enhance science learning by leveraging technology, promoting learner agency, and modeling the scientific research process....
Environmental Modeling of Carbon Sequestration in Northern California Forests
Environmental modeling is a research field that is immensely useful especially for the issues our world faces today. Droughts, forest fires, and increased levels of carbon...