RET Site in Mechatronics

SMARTER is a unique project at Polytechnic Institute of New York University that provides a paid research opportunity for 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 K-12 environment by providing teachers with enhanced science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational content through their participation in a mechatronics training/research project. During each of the three project years (2009-2011), ten teachers will be selected to receive mentoring and conduct inquiry-based, hands-on, engineering research through six-week long summer workshops. During the first two weeks, teachers will receive guided training to 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. 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 university faculty. By the end of the SMARTER project, teachers will have learned to use sensors, actuators, instrumentation, and computer control hardware and software to perform research in mobile robotics; micro-optical sensing; structural health monitoring; machinery automation; embedded sensing, control, and computing; etc.