Summer Research Institute
The Berkeley Engineering Research Experiences for Teachers (BERET+C) program provides teachers and teachers-to-be with paid summer research fellowships and guides them to develop and teach lessons that connect engineering and computational research to K-12 science and mathematics curricula in the classroom. This program is jointly operated by Ignited and the Cal Teach science and mathematics teacher education program.
BERET+C places in-service and pre-service teacher pairs within faculty labs at UC Berkeley under the supervision of a common research mentor. In-service teachers have at least three years of classroom experience teaching predominantly underrepresented students in nearby public middle and high schools. Pre-service teachers are UC Berkeley students majoring in science or engineering and enrolled in one or more of the series of courses offered by the Cal Teach program. To be in Cal Teach, a student must have a committment to pursue a career in teaching math or science in the K-12 classroom.
Research disciplines include Bioengineering, Chemistry, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Physics. See past labs here.
This program features:
- One in-service and one pre-service teacher are paired in a host lab under the same research mentor, but working on his/her own unique research project
- In-service and pre-service teachers work full-time for 8 weeks. Participants attend lab meetings and meet regularly with their research mentors to assess progress.
- Teams use their summer research experiences as the basis for developing new engineering lessons and curricular materials for classroom use. During and after the summer, teams work together to develop a curriculum unit of a few days to several weeks, and then jointly teach it in the in-service teacher's classroom during the academic year.
- Teachers are paid a stipend and can apply for additional grants to implement their lessons.
- Teachers engage in weekly professional development sessions with other teachers, attend a half-day symposium on engineering careers and teaching strategies, and present their research results in a poster session at the end of the summer.
- In-service teachers are encouraged to participate in the BERET+C program for two consecutive years.
In-service teachers apply via our nonprofit parter Ignited. Applications are accepted from November through March. We encourage you to apply as early as possible. Information and application will be available soon.
Program Coordinator, BERET +C
Why work with
Collaborate with enthusiastic UC Berkeley STEM undergraduates on research-based lesson plans.
Participate in a nationally-recognized program to help train tomorrow's teachers, your future colleagues.
Provide opportunities to pick up new ideas for your own teaching through our Cal Teach students.
"I feel much more energized to go back to school and engage with my kids from a different perspective (modeling being a lifelong learner!) I have a practical lesson I can take back to the classroom that reinforces science learning. I have developed relationships with the researchers to potentially continue doing research in the future." - K-12 Teacher Participant
"I have more lab research experience under my belt! And I really wanted to experience that again and to be able to talk about that with my students. I'm also just curious about Dark Matter, so that was great to have the opportunity to see and work first hand with how that research is conducted." - K-12 Teacher Participant
"One part I am going to take away from my research is presenting your findings to your peers. You need to be able to speak effectively to other people in the science field." "My ETP gives students the opportunity to design their own investigation and I would like to continue identifying, borrowing, or creating more opportunities for students to do this." - K-12 Teacher Participant