RET in Engineering and Computer Science Site:-Research Experiences in Mechatronics, Robotics, and Industrial Automation
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This award provides funding for a three year continuing award to support a Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) in Engineering and Computer Science Site program at Texas A&M University (TAMU) entitled, "RET in Engineering and Computer Science Site: Research Experiences in Mechatronics, Robotics, and Industrial Automation", under the direction of Dr. Sheng-Jen ("Tony") Hsieh. Automation has a profound effect on the way we do work, and mechatronics and robotics are the building blocks for industrial automation. U.S. manufacturers are seeking highly skilled workers to hire in industrial automation and control jobs. This RET Site will allow twelve high school and two-year college faculty (36 over three years) involved in career and technology education (CATE) to actively participate in Mechatronics, Robotics, and Industrial Automation research and curriculum development at TAMU during a six week summer research program with follow-up activities during the academic year. During the summer the participants will: 1) engage in a research project with faculty research mentors and develop a poster and presentation about their project; 2) attend special topic presentations and site tours; 3) develop an instructional module to teach a topic related to their research area; and 4) participate in a weekly workshop series on how to write a proposal. During the following academic year, they will 1) implement their instructional modules in their classrooms and assess learning outcomes; 2) revise the modules and summarize results from the assessment; 3) participate in a spring workshop to present results, disseminate developed materials, and evaluate the program; and 4) give a presentation about their summer experience to other teachers. An online community will be developed to allow participants to continue to communicate with project staff and with one another during the academic year. Opportunities for CATE faculty to participate in university research are relatively few. This proposed RET Site program will provide opportunities for CATE faculty to collaborate and establish long-term relationships with research faculty at TAMU, a Tier 1 research institution. The integration of research and education, along with increased availability of high quality curriculum materials and instructional resources will strengthen education in mechatronics, robotics and automation and ultimately help the U.S. workforce to be more competitive in these areas.