NSF funds K-12 teacher water-energy research project

Terri Hogue, professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the ConocoPhillips Center for a Sustainable WE²ST, and Andrea Blaine, assistant director of WE2ST, have been awarded a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to establish a Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Site at Colorado School of Mines.

The Mines RET project, Water-Energy Education for the Next Generation (WE2NG), will provide summer training and year-round support for 25-30 K-12 teachers over three years with the intention of infusing current research in the water-energy nexus into K-12 classrooms.  WE2NG will recruit STEM teachers from Jefferson County School District to attend a full-time 8-week summer program at Mines engaging in research under the direction of faculty and graduate student mentors. 

The program will include teacher-faculty research development, technical workshops, collaborations with industry (such as AECOM, ConocoPhillips and Denver Water) and integrated curriculum development. The WE2NG program will also establish long-term collaborative relationships with teacher participants by providing classroom support throughout the academic year with integration of graduate and undergraduate students from the ConocoPhillips WE2ST center and the NSF-funded Engineering Research Center for Reinventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt).

“The program will kick off in the summer of 2016,” said Hogue, “though the ground-work is already under way. WE²NG will take the outreach component of the WE²ST even further. Last spring our center delivered over 25 STEM labs at elementary schools, as well as presentations on Earth Day at Ralston Elementary, and Shelton’s Math & Science Night. Training teachers directly and developing curriculum with them allows us to reach exponential numbers of students. Rather than reaching one classroom at a time, all of the participants’ future students will receive a deeper understanding of the water-energy nexus, particularly as it relates to our western region.” 

 

Contact:

Deirdre Keating, Information Specialist, College of Engineering & Computational Sciences | 303-384-2358 | dkeating@mines.edu
Karen Gilbert, Director of Public Relations, Colorado School of Mines | 303-273-3541 | kgilbert@mines.edu