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SMARTER is a unique project at Polytechnic Institute of NYU that provides a paid research opportunity to middle and high school teachers. Funded by the Division of Engineering Education and Centers of the National Science Foundation, under its Research Experience for Teachers Site program, SMARTER aims to enrich education in middle and high school classrooms by providing teachers with enhanced science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational content through a mechatronics research project and an entrepreneurship experience. During each of the three project years (2013—2015), 12 teachers will be selected to receive mentoring, engage in entrepreneurship activities,  and conduct inquiry-based, hands-on, engineering research through six-week long summer workshops. The project will consist of a two-week “Guided Training” followed by a four-week “Collaborative Research” experience. During the first eight days of guided training, teachers will study and explore hands-on activities in the exciting field of mechatronics—synergistic integration of mechanical engineering, control theory, computer science, and electronics to manage complexity, uncertainty, and communication in engineered systems. On the last two days of the guided training, through experiential learning, group discussion, and site visit, teachers will be engaged in an entrepreneurship module to address: business planning, social entrepreneurship and technology, new product development, intellectual property, raising funding, etc. During the last four weeks, in two-person teams, teachers will conduct engineering research in a collaborative environment consisting of graduate and undergraduate researchers and NYU-Poly faculty. Participation in the project will allow teachers to gain an appreciation for the range of activities involved in being an entrepreneur. Moreover, they will learn to use sensors, actuators, instrumentation, and microcontrollers to perform research in robotics; fiber-optic sensing; mechatronic camera-triggers to visualize soil-projectile interaction; mobile apps for robotics and automation; etc.

Overview of our 2009—2012 RET Site : SMARTER

Overview of our 2003—2005 RET Site : RET Site in Mechatronics

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