The MagLab's mission includes a commitment to STEM education. The MagLab's Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program is an effective way to impact many students because participating teachers return to their schools with a better understanding of scientific research. The knowledge and confidence gained by RET participants will impact more than 300 students in elementary, middle and high schools around Florida.
In 2018, the RET program, directed by Jose Sanchez, hosted 10 Florida teachers from as far as Broward County. Teachers worked side by side with MagLab researchers on a wide variety of projects, including condensed matter physics, materials science and technology, applied superconductivity and nuclear magnetic resonance.
For the first time, Florida State University chemist Michael Shatruk joined the program, working with Larousse Charlot from Maynard Evans High School in Orlando, Fla., and Don Norton from Millennium Middle School in Sanford, Fla. Charlot and Evans prepared samples and worked on testing the conductive properties of AlFeB2 and several variants of the compound. Shatruk had such a positive experience working with the teachers that he has agreed to work with them again next summer.
MagLab physicist Wan Kyu Park also mentored RETs for his first time. Park and his team worked with Melvin Figueroa from New River Middle School in Ft Lauderdale, Fla., and Andy Bula from Astronaut High School in Titusville, Fla. Both teachers experienced a very steep learning curve, but soon felt right at home in Park's lab. They worked on measuring superconducting properties of niobium using a technique developed by Park.
This research was funded by the following grants: G.S. Boebinger (NSF DMR-1644779)
For more information, contact Jose Sanchez.