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Research Experience for High School Teachers in Design and Manufacturing

What’s New (Please download the brochure.)

  1. The RET site for design and manufacturing ran for 6 weeks from June 12 – July 21, 2023. Each teacher received $6,300 stipend and a free 3D printer from the 6-week summer program. The last cohort of teachers included 15 participants. They are implementing the course modules in the high schools now.
  2. Mr. Apolinar Guevarra has presented his work as one of the 8 teachers to attend the NSF EEC Grantees Conference in September 2022. The cost of his attendance will be covered by the conference. Congratulations!
  3. For Summer 2022 program, 12 High school STEM teachers have participated in engineering research in advanced design and manufacturing for 6 weeks from June 13 – July 22, 2022. As commented by the master teacher who has participated in 10 RET sites in the past, this is the best and most organized RET site he has ever attended!
  4. For Summer 2021 program, 12 High school STEM teachers have participated in engineering research in advanced design and manufacturing for 6 weeks from June 14 – July 23, 2021. To ensure the health and safety, all participants (teachers, students, professors) have been vaccinated (COVID-19 vaccine) before the summer program starts.

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As a collaboration between the Technology Division at the Cullen College of Engineering and College of Education (COE), UH has received from National Science Foundation (NSF) a Research Experience for Teachers (RET) site grant serving local high school STEM teachers with a focus on design and manufacturing:

We will host RET site summer program in 2021-2023 for 3 summers. Research topics hosted by the TD Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) faculty may include:
  • Design and Manufacturing, 3D Printing, VR/AR, and Applications (Drs. Zhu/Robles/Basaran)
  • Bio-inspired Design and Manufacturing of Robotic Swimmer (Dr. Fan/Basaran)
  • Modeling and Simulation of Robot Path Planning (Drs. Fan/Zhu/Basaran)
  • Solar Cell Manufacturing (Drs. Robles/Fan/El Nahas)
  • Fluid Mechanics and Industrial Applications (Drs. Alba/El Nahas)
  • Nanotechnology for Water Sustainability through Photo-Catalysts (Drs. Robles/El Nahas)

Activities include workshops, curriculum development, seminars, and field trips to local manufacturing industry. The research experience will be incorporated into high school curriculum that meets Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standard, and aligns with NGSS as well. Co-PI Dr. Augustina Reyes (College of Education) will lead the guidance effort in transforming design and manufacturing knowledge into high school curriculum, supported by Dr. Basaran and Dr. El Nahas. The program will be assessed by TD Director of Assessment Mr. Peter Weber.

The program result will be disseminated through local teacher conferences. Each summer program participant will make one presentation in one conference. Each summer program participant will develop at least one high school course module that meets standard for high school students.


Twelve teachers (11 regular teachers and 1 master teacher) will be chosen to participate in the summer RET program.

Eleven Teachers: Each receives a $1,050/week stipend for participation in the six-week summer program and $1,800 upon completion of the implementation and evaluation activities during the following academic year.

One Master Teacher: $1,150/week stipend. The Master Teacher will have a leadership role in the curriculum development process with a strong knowledge in TEKS, communication and problem solving skills, and a positive attitude. The Master Teacher provides assistance to other teachers in course module development and assessment and hosts Brown Bag Seminars.

Teachers will be responsible for their own lodging, parking, meal and travel expenses.

Every participant will receive a free 3D printer for use at the high school.

After summer, teachers will implement the course modules in their classroom and submit the complete course module to Teachers will also share experience with others through the annual RET symposium at UH. After these course development activity, each teacher will receive $1,800 course development fee.

How to Apply?

The following materials must be submitted for consideration before the application deadline:

  • Applicant’s current STEM syllabus
  • Application form
  • A curriculum vitae
  • Recommendation letter from Principal/Assistant Principal
  • 1-2 page essay that addresses the following topics:
    • What are your main reasons for participating in this program?
    • What do you hope to gain from RET experience?
    • Describe professional leadership roles you have held.
    • If chosen, how would you implement your experience with fellow faculty and students?

To be considered for Master Teacher, the applicant must also submit one more 1-page essay describing:

  • Curriculum development experience
  • The biggest challenges for RET participants and how the Master Teacher can help them

Please see the Application form above for more details.


RET 2022 Symposium Posters (from the cohort of Summer 2021)

  1. The Novel Application of Hydrogel Technology for Human Optical Lens Replacement, by Ms. Christy Miller, Linden High School
  2. Analyzing Video Game Dynamics with Computation in Introductory Physics, by Mr. Jimmy Newland, Bellaire High School
  3. 3D Printed Vacuum Chamber for Solid-State Battery Testing, by Mr. Jason Williamson, Needville High School
  4. Integrating Music into Math Lessons, by Mr. Guoyang Shen, Milby High School
  5. 3D Printed Robotic Dog Controlled by Arduino, by Mr. Chun Kwan, Furr High School
  6. The Amazing Polymers, by Ms. Evelyn Valladolid, South Early College High School
  7. When am I going to use this in the real world, by Mr. Michael Chandler, Sam Houston Math Science Technology Center
  8. Engineering Composites, by Ms. Denise Scott, Ross Shaw Sterling Aviation Early College High School

Teaching Engineering Publications

Hold on to That Water! Making Biodegradable Hydrogel, – by Ms. Christy Miller

Keep the Heat In! – by Mr. Jason Williamson

Heat Transfer in Solar Dryers – by Mr. Roberto Dimaliwat

Concrete Composites Lab – by Ms. Aerielle Rodriguez

Robo-mentum: Mass, Velocity, and Momentum Relationships – by Mr. Diomil Haro

What’s Your Angle? Assessing Wave Refractions – by Ms. Gunjan Gupta

Power Drag Lab – by Mr. Roberto Dimaliwat


National Science Foundation