Ten high school and community college science teachers from across the United States recently gave up a summer of leisure to attend a rigorous eight-week summer research program at the University of Rochester.
The teachers were paired with research groups in several scientific fields and worked side-by-side with professors, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. The group also attended seminars and toured research facilities at the University, Xerox, and other companies.
The program's goal is to foster interest in science among high school students by reaching out to their teachers.
"Our view is that the best device for getting young people turned on to science is a teacher who is both informed and excited," says Professor of Chemistry Jack Kampmeier, who directs the summer program. "We expect that teachers will serve as amplifiers for their experience: One teacher can reach scores of students, and dozens of teachers can reach hundreds."
The summer program also aims to bring teachers -- many of whom finished college decades ago -- up to date on the latest research. Kampmeier says that the 10 science teachers chosen from this year's applicants are among the nation's best and brightest.
The program, started in 1991, is conducted through the National Science Foundation's Center for Photoinduced Charge Transfer, a collaboration which includes the University, Xerox and the Eastman Kodak Company. Each of the teachers received a $6,000 stipend from the NSF. sb