The NHERI DesignSafe-CI Research Experience for Teachers (RET) is a year-long project that recruits high school teachers to work alongside NHERI DesignSafe-CI faculty, researchers, and staff of the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin. Teachers participate in graduate-level research projects within the field of advanced computing and engineering, with particular relevance to natural hazards engineering problems. RET staff and faculty guide participants to develop and teach computer science and engineering lessons that connect current research in computer science and engineering to K-12 curricula in informal education and outreach environments, with sustained follow-up to support classroom experiences. Project activities promote exciting careers that allow K-12 students to apply computational thinking to real-world problems.
Learning materials and lesson plans are free, open-source, and supported by the Texas Advanced Computing Center and Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure. Teachers and students can use the curriculum from previous years of the RET project.
Jupyter notebooks are interactive scripts (commonly Python) in a web-application used for teaching purposes in both undergraduate and graduate student classes at universities across the United States. Example Jupyter notebooks for civil engineering courses are available within a Community Data folder entitled, Jupyter Notebooks for Civil Engineering Courses. Students can access and work with these notebooks through the DesignSafe JupyterHub or download them to use locally.
NHERI Design Safe-CI engages K-12 students through interactive education and outreach programs like Code@TACC. Code@TACC is a one-week summer program for high school students that incorporates a project-based learning approach to expose students to STEM careers. Students foster their talent and creativity by being introduced to the principles of computing technology using microcomputers and real-world examples. In addition to interactive, hands-on activities and high-level engagement with TACC researchers and scientists, the program includes panel presentations from professionals and industry site visits to increase awareness about STEM careers in computer science and engineering.
A range of K-12 lesson plans, previously available on the NEEShub, has been ported over to DesignSafe and compiled in a Community Data folder entitled, Legacy NEES K-12 Learning Materials. The materials are available as teaching modules containing numerous lessons appropriate for educating K-12 students in fundamental engineering and natural hazard principles. Teachers and students can sort through and download these learning materials organized by contributors and grade level.