For Educators

NYU Tandon School of Engineering and the Center for K12 STEM Education are working with educational, research, and funding partners to increase the number of highly qualified K-12 STEM teachers. NYU Tandon is accepting applications for three NSF-funded K-12 STEM teacher training programs in the summer of 2017: DR K-12, ITEST, and RET.

Engineering challenges spark curiosity, leading to problem solving, invention, and innovation. NYU Tandon and the Center draw K-12 teachers and their students into the world of engineering. We engage their fascination with robots and stimulate their interest with designing elements for smart cities or cyber security challenges. Hands-on projects that use professional tools of computer science, electronics, robotics, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, or programming allow the teaching and learning of STEM content outside of textbooks. To support teachers and administrators in their efforts to apply this in their schools, our curricula are standards-aligned and incorporate computer science, which is applied in nearly all engineering disciplines.

Which program should I and my partner teacher/school apply to?

  • Each program has a slightly different time commitment, both during the summer and during the school year. Please read the program descriptions to determine what level of time commitment the teacher pair, principal, and school are able to follow through on.
  • All programs offer teachers a stipend for completing requirements.
  • The RET program will accept middle and high school teachers, the DR K-12 program will accept only middle school teachers, and the ITEST program will accept only high school teachers.
  • The ITEST and RET programs include an entrepreneurship component plus robotics/mechatronics. The DRK12 program does not include any entrepreneurship component.
  • The DRK12 and ITEST programs require that teachers apply as pairs and with the agreement and support of their school principal. The DR K-12 program requires the pair to have one science and one math teacher. The RET program prefers teachers apply in pairs, but does not require it.
  • The ITEST project also requires teachers to have two of their students attend the summer training. RET and DR K-12 do not.
  • All teachers applying must be science or math certified.
  • Teachers should NOT apply to any of these programs if they will be transferring schools starting September, 2017. The school year commitment to and agreement with teachers and principals we make is school-specific, including the use of any equipment in classrooms, visits from or co-teaching with NYU graduate students, and K-12 student entry into entrepreneurship competitions on the NYU campus.

In addition to NSF-funded programs, we have partnered with the NYC Department of Education and private funders to offer professional development to teachers and programming to K-12 students as part of NYC Summer STEM.

As a University center for K-12 STEM education, we base our professional development offerings for teachers on research. Hallmarks of our teacher training programs include teachers as partners, graduate students as instructors, and hands-on, project-based learning as a main goal for both teachers and their students. To read more about results and reach of our programs, check out the #STEMNOW blog.


We wish to acknowledge the National Science Foundation for its support of these projects through the following grants: award #1417769 (DRK12 program), award #1542286 (RET program) and award #1614085 (ITEST program).  This work is undertaken at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering by Professor Vikram Kapila of the Mechatronics and Controls Laboratory, faculty colleagues at Tandon, the Center for K12 STEM Education, and faculty from from the New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.


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