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Research Experience for Preservice Teachers - Summer 2020


The Neilson Laboratory (Department of Chemistry, Colorado State University) is seeking a preservice teacher researcher to take on National Science Foundation supported independent materials science projects over 10 weeks in summer 2020 in collaboration with other summer Research Experience for Undergraduates students supported on a separate grant. The Neilson Laboratory, within which the students will conduct research, is interested in fundamental solid-state and materials chemistry and elucidating synthesis-structure-property relationships in functional materials that will lead to the design of new materials.

During the research experience, our goal is for student researchers to prepare new materials that have never been made before, such as those needed to enable solar energy conversion and batteries.  The summer student researchers involved in the experience will synthesize new functional materials and characterize their atomic structure and properties.  Along the way, participants will learn a wide array of synthetic chemistry techniques, X-ray diffraction, physical properties measurements, and computer programming to analyze the data. 

Participants will have the opportunity to develop and perform science experiments for K-12 students that mirror the research activities in collaboration with the Education & Outreach Center. Given the nature of the research and K-12 work, we are looking for an independent, eager participant in our research. We believe that including preservice teachers as part of the research team will benefit the entire research team by offering creative insights to research problems and by offering effective strategies for communicating our research to the broader community.  Our hope is that the participants will continue to develop their own science identities by engaging in real, ongoing research, which will better serve them when they become classroom teachers. 

Application information:

Participants will be selected based upon their demonstrated interest in STEM teaching, minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.7, and a willingness to challenge themselves.  At minimum, the participants should plan to work with the Neilson Laboratory from May 26, 2020 to August 3, 2020.  A $8,000 stipend will be provided to the selected participant.  Interested participants should apply directly to Prof. James Neilson (james.neilson@colostate.edu).  Please include a cover letter, 1-page resume, 1-page Statement of Purpose explaining their interest in STEM teaching and science research, an unofficial transcript, and contact information for recommendation letter.  Preference will be given to declared preservice teachers and Noyce Scholars.  For full consideration for this opportunity, participants must apply by Feb 6, 2020; the position will remain open until filled.    

K-12 STEM Experiment Kit: High Tech Rocks!