Skip navigation

Education: K-12 Programs: Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Program

Note: this program is currently not taking any teachers for SNF.

The SNF RET program brings high school science teachers to Stanford to participate in an 8-week summer research experience. The teachers work on independent research projects at SNF under the mentorship of an SNF employee or faculty user. Participants undergo training and become lab users. They have direct interactions with research scientists, post-doctoral scholars, and graduate students while in the facility.

The SNF teachers also are part of the larger Stanford Summer Program for Science Teachers. This program serves high school science teachers working on projects on the Stanford campus for the summer and is run out of the Stanford Office of Science Outreach in partnership with Industry Initiatives in Science and Math Education (IISME), a nonprofit organization that helps place Bay Area teachers in summer fellowships. Teachers are recruited with the help of IISME. Participants spend Tues.-Fri. working on their individual projects. On Mon., the teachers come together to hear faculty talks, tour campus labs and facilities and discuss ways in which they will bring their summer experience back to their classrooms as all participants are required to develop an education transfer plan (ETP); an IISME peer coach helps work with teachers on their education transfer plans. At the end of the summer all the teachers present their work on their individual projects on a poster.

The SNF teacher stipends ($6400) are funded by NSF through the NNIN contract. In addition, teachers may earn an additional $600 from IISME by developing and implementing their education transfer plan.

Former RET Participants:

Aaron Keller picture of Aaron Keller next to his research poster.
Alvirne High School, Hudson, NH
Summers: 2004 and 2005
Mentor: Prof. Beth Pruitt
Project: Development of Force Probes for Studying Touch Sensation (pdf of poster)

Education Transfer Plan (2004): Students will observe a Powerpoint presentations on the process of piezoresistive beam construction and then participate in an activity which models photolithography. Outcome goals involve students understanding the processes involved in photolithography.

Powerpoint presentation

Photolithography activity (Word doc)
Rubric (Word doc)

Education Transfer Plan (2005): The goal of the ETP is to provide students with a broad view on MEMS engineering and, specifically, how this process was applied to the particular research project of the touch sensor construction. The ETP will involve a power-point presentation accompanied by a demonstration of the actual sensor and this will be followed by a related assignment.

Powerpoint presentation
MEMS activity (Word doc)


Yasemin Altan picture of Yasemin Altan next to her research poster.
Del Mar High School, San Jose, CA
Summer: 2005
Mentor: Mahnaz Mansourpour
Project: NanoImprint Lithography

Education Transfer Plan: Technology is used in the classroom for labs. I would like my students to be well-versed in the workings of more sophisticated technology, such as those used at the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility, to broaden their scope as to how science is performed professionally.This can be achieved through useful classroom-constructed analogies of the costly equipment and a powerpoint presentation of the various types of technology that are used in nanoscience.

Investigating the Small (ppt)

Technology Makes Science Happen Modules (pdf doc)


Alfonso Garcia* picture of Alfonso Garcia next to his research poster.
Latino College Prepatory Academy, San Jose, CA
Summer: 2005
Mentor: Ed Myers
Project: Atomic Layer Deposition
Education Transfer Plan: This ETP consists of giving students, primarily high school students, a visual and friendly introduction to safety in a high school chemistry classroom. I have prepared a one day (55 minute) lesson plan for students. My goal is to make my students more aware of the importance of conducting safe science experiments.

Safety ETP (pdf doc)

* Alfonso was hosted by SNF but supported by the Center of Polymer Interfaces and Macromolecular Assemblies.


Michael Patterson picture of Michael Patterson next to his research poster.
Junipero Serra High School, San Mateo, CA
Summer: 2008
Mentor: Ann Marshall, SNL
Project: XXXX

Education Transfer Plan: XXXX.ppt

YYYY (ppt)

YYYYY (pdf doc)