A part of the SERC Teacher Professional Development Program Collection
Page prepared for SERC by Heather Rissler
Summer Internships at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Program URL: http://www.mbari.org/education/internship/genintern.htm Program Type:
Summer Research Internship; Involving K-12 Teachers in Research Program Size:
Audience: Educators, Undergraduate students, Graduate students
George Matsumoto, PhD
Senior Education and Research Specialist (Contact Info)
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI
) is a research center dedicated to ocean research, technology, and education. MBARI supports a 10-week summer research program that is open to students and educators. Participants work with MBARI researchers on independent research projects. This type of program is an excellent opportunity for in-service teachers to explore inquiry-based learning and ocean science in a research setting and to stimulate addition of these skills in their current curricula.
What was the impetus for the program?
This program was developed to provide opportunities for students and educators to collaborate with scientists on independent research projects in the ocean sciences.
How is the program structured?
The program runs in the summer from June through August. Interested participants submit an application in February indicating their research interests and potential mentors.
Applications are accepted from November to February. A list of potential projects and mentors from which to choose is posted on the web in December.
Topics that interns have explored through research projects include:
- Ocean observation systems
- Ocean-floor mapping
- Web design
- Microbiology Sensor development
- Physical oceanography
- Electrical engineering
- Mechanical engineering
- Deep-sea ecology
- In situ chemical analyses
- Software engineering
- Video technology
- Science writing
Past projects are posted online.
How can faculty get involved in this type of program?
This program involves researchers based at MBARI. Faculty can apply to participate as interns. This type of program illustrates the relationships that can be fostered between researchers and educators. Faculty who are interested in mentoring of in-service teachers in a research program should refer to references and notes for tips.
References and Notes:
Using earth science research projects to develop collaboration between scientists at a research university and K-12 educators: Insights for future efforts.: This article examines the partnership between teachers and scientists involved in earth systems research. (from Journal of Geoscience Education )
Research methodologies in science education: Undergraduate research mentoring, teacher workshops, and K-12 outreach activities: This article reviews multiple issues related to science education and includes tips on how to foster meaningful research experiences for educators.
Examples of NSF funding that supports involvement of K-12 educators in research opportunities.