About the Program:

The College of Engineering and College of Education are excited to continue a summer research program for CPS high school teachers in summer 2020. The summer research experience will provide an opportunity for pre-engineering and science teachers to spend time in bioengineering research labs and use the experience to create a curriculum for use in their own classrooms. The six-week program matches teachers to a laboratory under the guidance of College of Engineering research-active core bioengineering faculty mentors. These lab opportunities are in diverse areas that include 3D printing laboratory equipment, tissue engineering, biomedical imaging, brain activity monitoring, rehabilitation engineering, bioacoustics, biomaterials, and mechanics of the pulmonary system. In partnership with College of Education faculty who are recognized experts in curriculum design and teaching in secondary education, and in particular, teaching of secondary science in urban schools, participant-tailored curricular mentoring in weekly workshops will focus on principles of effective planning, instruction, and assessment to be directly connected to teachers’ classroom curriculum.

The BEST program was developed by Miiri Kotche (College of Engineering) and Jennifer Olson (College of Education) in an effort to create a bridge between the colleges of engineering and education and build on the strengths of each college to support CPS teachers’ development of pedagogical content knowledge. This summer research experience delivers both in-depth content and pedagogy to teacher participants so they can make meaningful connections to their classroom professional practice. The cross-department collaboration is central to teacher participants’ development and learning in this summer research experience, as they will benefit from both the expertise of bioengineering researcher faculty and educational design experts in an innovative approach that stresses the importance of content and pedagogy in teaching practice.

Jennifer is a clinical assistant professor in Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education. She coordinates Secondary Education programs and teaches curriculum, instruction, & assessment courses to undergraduate and graduate secondary education students. Jennifer’s research focus on urban high school reform is informed by nine years of teaching in Chicago Public Schools, giving her an informed perspective of how policy moves from theory to practice. Jennifer received her PhD in Urban Education Policy Studies in 2013 from University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Olson’s current research interests include urban high school reform, urban teacher preparation, school turnaround, and student voice.