Michigan Technological University

College of Engineering

Research Experience for Teachers (RET)


Max Seel, Mary Poats, David Shonnard


Michigan Tech is again hosting seven middle and high school teachers from Michigan and Wisconsin in a six-week Research Experience for Teachers (RET), a program funded by the National Science Foundation.

The teachers presented their posters on their research experiences, as well as the development of classroom/laboratory units Friday, Aug. 17, in Memorial Union Alumni Lounge B.

The teachers are conducting biofuels research projects in engineering and forestry, specifically in the labs of Professor David Shonnard (ChE), Professor Shehkar Joshi (SFRES) and Professor Jeffrey Naber (ME-EM).

The research experiences underway span the entire "Wood-to-Wheels (W2W)" chain, including genetic engineering of poplar trees; conversion of wood chips to biofuel ethanol; and combustion of biofuel in chambers and engines.

Based on the program, teachers are developing classroom instruction units and laboratory exercises to both introduce engineering disciplines and careers to students, as well as to present more advanced science and engineering topics in each of the relevant disciplines (forestry, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering).

The program manager from the National Science Foundation, Mary Poats, was present at the poster session.

This RET project is conducted in association with the Sustainable Futures Institute and the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences.

Better Biofuels Research Experience for Teachers Video Playlist













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Michigan Technological University

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Houghton, Michigan 49931-1295

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