"My experience with C-STEM has been far more rewarding than I expected. My principal signed me up for a 2 week training last summer with Professor Cheng at UCD Davis. I was very tentative to attend because I had no background in computer science and did not see how it could be helpful to my middle school students. I was very wrong. I attended the 2 week training and joined for the fellowship to help develop the curriculum. I taught programming as an elective using the C-STEM curriculum this year and was thrilled to see how it positively affected such a wide range of my students. My low students were so motivated by learning how to operate the robots that they improved their understanding of difficult math concepts like rates, proportions, and writing and solving equations. My higher students were excited by the new challenge and all the different possibilities that they devoted extra time to the material outside of school and are now looking up what computer science classes they can take at the High School. This has been a very rewarding experience for my students and I can't wait to teach it again next year.
The C-STEM Center conducts the NSF Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) Site project "Computing Research Experiences for STEM Teachers (CREST)" under the Grant CNS1132709 starting with the six-week (8 hours/day) summer program with the academic year follow-up plan.
Deadline for application for 2013-2014 CREST Fellows: April 5, 2013
Notification Date for Accepted Fellows: April 19, 2013
Information Session Date: February 7, 2013, 5pm - 6pm, 2033 Bainer Hall
Information about the 2013-2014 CREST Program can be found in the flier HERE.
CREST Project Summary
This "Computing Research Experiences for STEM Teachers (CREST)" project will create an enduring partnership between secondary school science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers and UC Davis faculty mentors and C-STEM Center to promote teachers' professional development and create a teaching "infrastructure" that stimulates and inspires them to effectively guide their students towards computing and STEM related careers and post-secondary study.
Last spring I graduated with my B.S. in Physics and was enrolled in a credential program for the following year. I heard about the CREST Fellowship through the MAST program at UC Davis and found the idea of implementing computer programming skills into secondary education very interesting. Throughout the summer I participated in the 6 week fellowship which had a very profound effect on my future career. Starting the fellowship as a pre-service teacher, I ended with multiple job offers teaching physics in the Sacramento area. Ultimately, the CREST Fellowship helped solidify my career and made me a highly valuable and marketable candidate for a teaching position. I now teach applied physics at the high school level, and engineering at the middle school level at the School of Engineering and Sciences (SES) in Sacramento. The CREST Fellowship made it possible for me to teach directly out of college with only my bachelors degree. In addition to everything already mentioned, I was provided with a years worth of engineering curriculum and modular robots (Mobots) which are an excellent tool for engaging students. My current teaching position was made possible by the skills I learned and the connections I made during the Summer fellowship. I would highly encourage any who is teaching, or is interested in teaching STEM, to consider this fellowship.
Forty five in-service and pre-service computer science and STEM teachers (15 per year for 3 years, with 11 in-service teachers and 4 pre-service teachers each year) will participate in the project as CREST Fellows. These CREST Fellows will be trained with computing and computer programming using the C/C++ interpreter Ch for problem solving, paired with faculty mentors to experience cutting-edge research related to computing, and develop curricular materials for the integration of computing in STEM subjects in a six-week summer program. UC Davis faculty mentors and their students will support Fellows to implement research project-based computing and engineering activities in their classrooms during the academic year. Fellows and their students will showcase their accomplishments on the UC Davis C-STEM Day in spring.
Payments for CREST Fellows
The CREST project will pay stipend to CREST Fellows ($4,800 with $160/day for in-service teachers and $3,000 with $100/day for pre-service teachers) during the six-week summer program, additional stipend during the academic year, some materials and supplies such as modular robot Mobot for implementation in classroom and afterschool programs, and some expenses for traveling to present the research results and papers in conferences. Every two students in a Fellow's class will have a robot from the project.