Lessons Learned from Evaluating Three Virtual Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) Programs Using Common Instruments and Protocols (Evaluation)

Jean S. Larson, Megan O'Donnell, Kristi Lynn Eustice, Carolyn Aitken Nichol, Kristen Jaskie, Andreas S. Spanias, Kimberly Farnsworth, Jennifer M. Blain Christen, Mi Yeon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Due to the COVID-19 crisis preventing face-to-face interaction, three National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded centers employed a virtual/remote format for their summer Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) Programs, reaching K-12 STEM teachers across the country. Teachers participated virtually from four different states by joining engineering research teams from four different universities in three different RET programs. Lab experiences depended on the nature of the research and institution-specific guidelines for in-lab efforts, resulting in some teachers conducting lab experiments with materials sent directly to their homes, some completing their experience fully online, and some completing portions of lab work in person on campus. Each teacher developed an engineering lesson plan based on the corresponding center's research to be implemented either in person or virtually during the 2020-2021 academic school year. Research posters, created with support from graduate student and faculty mentors, were presented to industry partners, education partners, center members, and the NSF. Support for the teachers as they implement lessons, present posters, and disseminate their developed curricula, has continued throughout the year. Common survey and interview/focus group protocols, previously designed specifically for measuring the impact of engineering education programs, were adapted and used to separately evaluate each of the three virtual programs. Strengths and suggested areas of improvement will be explored and discussed to inform future use of the common evaluation instruments. Additionally, preliminary results, highlighting general successes and challenges of shifting RET programming to a virtual/remote format across the three centers, will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jul 26 2021
Event2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 26 2021Jul 29 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Lessons Learned from Evaluating Three Virtual Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) Programs Using Common Instruments and Protocols (Evaluation)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this