RET Site: Building Education

Project: Research project

Project Details


The proposed Building Education Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) site will advance STEM education by engaging teachers in building science research topics including indoor air quality, lighting effectiveness, thermal comfort, and energy efficiency. Multiple domains of building science will be utilized to engage teachers in STEM disciplines in a way that offers Education for Sustainability as a unifying and energizing theme and Systems Thinking as the overarching learning objective. Participating teachers will be equipped with the capabilities and instruments to experiment with air quality, lighting systems, and energy use in their respective school buildings as hands-on and applied STEM-based teaching modules. This will be accomplished through offering immersive RET experience for three cohorts of teachers across urban and rural school districts and Intermediate Units and the engagement of 30 teachers in developmental research experiences and curriculum integration practices that link research, student engagement, and STEM/Systems Thinking education outcomes. This research will advance methods in Education for Sustainability and as a result, is expected to attract women and underrepresented minority students into STEM fields. Linkages to state and national partners will enable broad dissemination and adoption of Education for Sustainability principles and the living laboratory strategy as instruments for advancing STEM education as well as global challenges in energy and human health. The project will lead to shareable teaching modules that can be adapted by science, math, physics, and chemistry teachers.

This RET site will demonstrate direct linkages between teacher-engaged research, sustainability focused teaching contexts, and STEM learning outcomes. Teacher-led and student engaged data collection and analysis as an innovative and meaningful context will be evaluated for its impact on student STEM self-efficacy and student ability to use data and evidence to effectively solve problems and optimize systems, environments, interfaces, and devices. This research will also evaluate Education for Sustainability as a strategy for cultivating teacher capacity to design effective instructional methods in systems thinking.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date9/1/198/31/22


  • National Science Foundation: $600,000.00


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