Opportunities for Teachers

Summer 2019 teacher participants visit the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor at the Penn State University Park campus.

Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Program

The Department of Physics hosts multiple summer research programs in partnership with the Center for the Nanoscale Science. The Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Program focuses on research in Condensed Matter Physics and Interdisciplinary Materials. Engineering, technology, science and math teachers with broad interests across disciplines are eligible to apply.

The chosen teachers taking part in this six-week program will receive hands-on nanoscience and technology experience through research, with applications to bio-engineering, chemistry, electronics, materials science, optics, optoelectronics, physics, and life sciences. A Summer Research Symposium, attended by the participating teachers, provides the RET fellows the opportunity to present their research via an oral presentation and a poster. RET fellows also develop a lesson plan and/or modular curriculum based on their research topic.


We offer a one-day Nanotechnology Teacher Workshop each spring for teachers who want to:

  • Learn more about nanotechnology modern materials
  • Understand the interdisciplinary nature in which current research is being conducted
  • See the facilities, tools, and instruments used to conduct research, and meet the faculty and staff that use them
  • Participate in hands-on, interactive, learning activities andincorporate them into the classroom.

Demonstration Materials and Activities

The MRSEC also has a wide assortment of demonstration materials for in-class science demonstrations and outreach events.  Those interested in borrowing supplies or requesting a visit and demonstration by graduate student presenters should contact Kristin Dreyer (kad4@psu.edu) or Tiffany Mathews (tam276@psu.edu).