research experience for teachers

The Deadline for the Summer 2012 program is February 1, 2012.

back: Ardis Maciolek, Tim Spuck, Rob Welsh, front: Tim Boyd, John Ford

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory offers summer research positions at the NRAO in Socorro, NM, Charlottesville, VA and Green Bank, WV. The program, called Research Experiences for Teachers, provides teachers with 8-week summer internships working with individual astronomers or other NRAO staff on their research. RET participants will be involved in one of several astronomy research projects which involve using radio telescopes to make observations, analyze data, construct instruments or monitor the local interference environment.

Stipend is $1000.00 per week (@ 5 days/week)

Other Summer Activities include:

  • Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Activities. As part of the REU program at NRAO, our staff present lectures on astronomy, offer "field trips" to other observatories, and schedule colloquia by visiting astronomers and engineers. Students are also required to present their summer projects in colloquia for their peers and NRAO staff. Teachers participating in the RET program will be involved in these activities as well.
  • Participation in other sponsored educational programs at each site.
  • Weekly education sessions. Each week beginning in July, we will hold short education work sessions to develop teachers ideas for classroom activities. Initially we will foster discussion on the participants' NRAO research and brainstorm how the research ties into content and process standards of the National Science Education Standards. As the summer progresses participants will be asked to develop classroom implementation plans.
  • Peer Colloquium. Before our REU students leave NRAO to head back to college, we ask them to present the results of their research in a student colloquium. The same will be required of our teachers, but with one small difference. They will also present their classroom implementation plans. RET teachers will also share their ideas with teachers on site or via a web page.

Classroom projects:

We will require that our teacher-participants:
    • Develop and implement a unit in their classrooms that incorporates astronomy and scientific research;
    • Document the classroom unit, allowing NRAO to disseminate the materials to other teachers via the World Wide Web;
    • Assess the impact of the research unit on their students through the use of a pre-post survey;
    • Attend the annual American Astronomy Society meeting where they will present a poster on their classroom applications and attend a feedback meeting with other RET teachers and NRAO staff. At the feedback meeting, NRAO will collect classroom materials and surveys.

Successful applicants will receive a stipend of $1000.00/week, and support for travel expenses to the American Astronomical Society meeting in January.

Who May Apply

Any K-12 teacher who is currently teaching and who will be teaching during the 2010/2011 school year may apply. NRAO is an equal opportunity employer.

Application Process:

Applications to the RET program will include:

  • Completed application form with essay describing your interest in astronomy and in the program;
  • Current resume;
  • Three letters of reference from: colleagues, administrators, employers or others who can comment on your abilities.

Where to Send Application Materials:

Click Here. (Applications are online this year. )

Once applications are in interested staff will review all of the application packets and conduct interviews by telephone. If you have further questions about this opportunity, please contact:

Judy Stanley in Socorro, or Sue Ann Heatherly in Green Bank.

What some of our former RET Teachers have done:

AAS Poster Abstracts of:

Tim Boyd, Garaway High School

Suzanne Conrad, Espanola Public Schools

Jean Davis, Cloudcroft Schools

John Ford, Spencer Middle School -- his full poster!

Ardis Maciolek, Grosse Pointe North High School -- her full poster!

Tim Spuck, Oil City High School

Rob Welsh, George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science

Nate Van Wey, Perry High School -- his full poster!

Chelen Johnson, Breck School

Dave Fleming, Concord College-- his full poster!

John Ciccarelli George Washington Carver High School

Joshua Bridger Dover-Sherborn High School-- his full poster!

Robert Sparks The Prairie School

Steve Rapp and Charles Gear Holton Governor's School and Elkins High School

James Kelly Rockbridge County Schools

Eric Kearsley Albert Einstein High School

Amy McCarty, Altavista Combined School

Shelly Hynes, Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts

Jeff Paradis, Rush Henrietta Senior High School

Diana Soehl, Elwood John H. Glenn High School

Chris Hynes, Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts

Site Specific Information:

History, weather, travel, directions, maps, housing, contact information.

Socorro, New Mexico:

Green Bank, West Virginia:

Modified on Wednesday, 14-Dec-2011 17:27:03 EST