By: Ashley Duvelius
Ten high school students embrace the unique opportunity to perform nanotechnology research alongside esteemed UC faculty and students.
When it comes to learning, are you a listener, an observer, or a doer?
There are different teaching methods in which a student can engage that will allow them to retain information at various rates. Studies have shown that a higher retention of learning is achieved when participatory teaching methods are implemented. In fact, the retention rate is 75% for students who learn and practice by “doing.”
Taking this one step further, research also illustrates that such methods are crucial to a student’s future as “hands-on learning can also significantly contribute to students gaining the 21st century skills they’ll need as they develop into the next generation of business owners, innovators, managers, and employees.”
The UC College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) acknowledges and aligns with this evidence, offering ten high school students (grades 9-12) the rare opportunity to perform collegiate research as a part of the Summer Institute program. The research portion of the Summer Institute program began in 2010 as part of a grant from the National Science Foundation to introduce nanotechnology into the undergraduate curriculum at UC. Professor James Boerio, PhD and Head of the CEAS Department of Engineering Education, was the Principal Investigator for the NSF grant. Each summer since 2010, the research program in Summer Institute has been organized and led by Professor Boerio and by Magnolia Modaress, MS and Program Manager.
As a vital component of the Summer Institute program, the hands-on classroom and lab experiences are aimed at improving underrepresented ethnic students’ understanding of science and math. Through the program, which is in its fourth consecutive year, faculty members and graduate students assist in the development of students' math/science preparation and understanding of these disciplines as they relate to engineering.