NDSU grant to provide research experiences for middle, high school teachers

NDSU grant to provide research experiences for middle, high school teachers

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $540,000 grant to NDSU for a project titled “Research Experiences for Teachers: Civil Engineering Instruction for Secondary Education Teachers.” The funds are approved through the NSF Division of Engineering Education and Centers Directorate for Engineering.

Beena Ajmera, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, is the principal investigator and Sarah Crary, assistant professor of educational leadership, is the co-principal investigator. 

The six-week summer Research Experiences for Teachers program will provide middle and high school teachers in North Dakota with a deeper understanding of civil engineering through a hands-on research curriculum. The teachers, in turn, can then prepare their students to become future leaders in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

The teachers will work with NDSU faculty and graduate students in the laboratories of the NDSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. 

“Teachers will be engaged in hands-on, authentic research experiences revolving around the theme of mitigating natural disasters to help address issues of extreme weather, flooding, extreme temperatures, landslides, earthquakes, drought, wildfires and volcanic activities,” Ajmera said. “These activities will allow them to bridge research experiences to improve content knowledge which will translate to improved secondary STEM education in their classrooms.” 

Ajmera came to NDSU in 2018. She earned her bachelor’s degrees and master’s degree in civil engineering at California State University, Fullerton, and her doctorate in civil engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg. 

Crary joined the NDSU faculty in 2018. She earned her bachelor’ and master’s degrees at Minnesota State University Moorhead and her doctorate at the University of North Dakota. 

The award abstract is #1953102.

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