UofL awarded $600K grant to train high school science teachers in energy-related research

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The University of Louisville is strengthening its ties to the community and furthering science education with a $600,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) award that will fund professional development for Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) high school science teachers.

The grant establishes UofL as a new site for the NSF’s Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) in Engineering program. Thirty JCPS high school science teachers will be selected over the next three summers to participate in training that focuses on energy-related research. Additionally, teachers will be able to modify and augment existing science curriculum for the following academic school year.

The site is a joint project between the J.B. Speed School of Engineering and the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD). Initially, 10 teachers will begin working with UofL faculty in the summer of 2020.

“An energy-literate culture is important to understanding the energy-related environmental, political and economic concerns of the modern world,” said UofL President Neeli Bendapudi. “The JCPS teachers trained at our site will go on to educate their colleagues and thousands of high school students. I congratulate both Speed and CEHD on winning the funding for this important cooperative work.”

“Energy represents a unifying theme across all scientific domains,” said Brian S. Robinson, assistant professor in Speed’s engineering fundamentals department and co-director of the project with Justin McFadden, assistant professor of science education in CEHD. “We will focus on ideas that are part of Kentucky’s high school science standards to improve high school students’ understanding of fundamental energy concepts and engineering design principles. We believe this may further students’ career interests in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.”

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