Center’s First Summer Research Experience Gives Educational Opportunities to 29 Diverse Participants

Achievement date: 
2016
Outcome/accomplishment: 

The NSF funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics (CBBG), headquartered at Arizona State University (ASU), organized its first summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), Teachers (RET), and Young Scholars (YS). The programs brought 29 highly qualified, innovative, and diverse participants into the Center’s orbit for educational opportunities.

Impact/benefits: 

Thirteen undergraduates from universities and colleges not affiliated with the CBBG and eleven K-14 teachers participated at ASU and Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), and eight high school students in the YS program were immersed in a broad range of technical research projects in CBBG labs at ASU.

Explanation/Background: 

Participants were incorporated into CBBG project research teams to experience the multidisciplinary nature of the center and its aim to learn from nature, harness natural biological processes to revolutionize engineering systems that mitigate risks, and address challenges associated with urbanization, global climate change, and use of natural resources.

Participants spent the first week at ASU for orientation and safety training. They participated in various webinars presented by Center leaders and researchers, toured labs, attended workshops on leadership and design thinking, and participated in fun, hands-on activities.

Ten undergraduate participants spent seven weeks at either Georgia Tech, New Mexico State University, or the University of California, Davis. They participated in weekly webinars, and during the last week shared their research with each other via videoconferencing.

Participating teachers worked with their research teams in the labs and on CBBG-based curricula to use in the fall semester. The teachers also shared lesson plans with participants in similar programs at the NSF-funded Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies (QESST) ERC, also headquartered at ASU. The high school students in the YS Program worked in CBBG labs, created research posters, and presented them to family and friends at a reception hosted by the ASU University Club.