University of Wisconsin–Madison

RET Experience

Group of People

How to apply to the RET program

To apply to the summer 2018 RET Program, please fill out this application by March 1, 2018:

What is the RET program?

In the Materials Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program, we place middle and high school science teachers in Material Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) laboratories for seven weeks. During this program, you will participate in cutting edge research and use the tools, language, and practices of science while you design learning activities. As a fellow, you will work under the direction of a principal investigator (PI) along with postdoctoral and graduate students from the PI’s lab.

The program includes a $6,000 stipend and the supplies needed for your classroom activity.

As an RET participant, you will work at the UW-Madison campus in a MRSEC laboratory daily for seven weeks. Not only will you learn about their lab, their research goals and their methods, you will also collaborate with other fellows. You will work together to design classroom activities that are inspired by the research happening in the lab.  You will take part in research meetings, seminars from inspiring researchers, and outreach events. At these outreach events you be able to test your design activities with the public. After the program, you will implement the activities you designed in your own class. Our MRSEC staff will continue to work with you in your classrooms to document and evaluate your project’s effectiveness. Activities that work in the classroom will be made available to other teachers through MRSEC websites and initiatives.

The 2018 RET program will begin on June 18 and conclude on August 3.


The MRSEC RET Program Goals

  1. We will provide science teachers with an authentic research experience
  2. We will team up with teachers to create new science learning activities for youth inspired by MRSEC research

The MRSEC is an interdisciplinary group of researchers from diverse fields of science seeking to address critical gaps in understanding of disordered materials and the emergence of order from disordered materials. In the Interdisciplinary Education Group, we use examples of nanotechnology and advanced materials to enhance public understanding of fundamental science and engineering concepts and to share the excitement and potential of these interdisciplinary fields with K-12 audiences and the general public.

How to apply to the RET program

In case you missed it, to apply to the summer 2018 RET Program, please fill out this application by March 1, 2018:

In this application you will be asked to provide a CV or resume and your reasons for wanting to join the program. If you have questions, please ask the Coordinator, Matthew Stilwell, at