Members of the Research Experience for Teachers (RET), Laurita Moore and Daniel Holder, know the answer to that question. Both recently participated in the Nanotechnology Collaborative Infrastructure Southwest (NCI-SW) program at ASU.
Laurita Moore and Dan Holder, are both faculty members with Maricopa Community Colleges District; Laurita teaches in the Computer Information Systems department, South Mountain Community College, and Dan is Mathematics faculty at Phoenix College. Initially, it may not seem that using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) has obvious connections to teaching math or computer information systems; however, Laurita explains, one of her teaching goals is to help her students connect to real world applications. For example, she uses Moore’s law, to explain graphical relationships and data analysis. Dan goes on to describe how he hopes his math students can better develop their understanding of math concepts using this technology.
Laurita and Dan discovered the RET program through colleagues and are very excited to be involved. Both feel that “not only are we learning SEM fundamentals but we also hope to further explore how students and teachers may remotely access this equipment, via the internet, from their own classrooms.”
Why do research? Laurita says, “It is an extraordinary learning experience for me and has deepened our colleges connection with Arizona State University. Our students will benefit from enhancements I make to our curriculum and from guidance career pathways at the University.” Dan’s background, prior to Phoenix College, included engineering and business; he always had a desire for all things technical. Dan says, “research drives your interest, it is a tremendous motivation to study. I want my math students to feel that same excitement in whatever field and career they choose.”
Program highlights from previous summers are described here. NCI-SW intends to continue this multi-week, summer research program, for undergraduate students as well as K-12 and community college teachers in 2019.