NSF RET DATA 3 Program

National Science Foundation Research Experience for Teachers- Apply Here

Data Sciences and Data Fluency in Scientific Data Sets (DATA3)

A Joint NSF Proposal for Research Experience for Teachers
with Montclair State University and New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Artificial Intelligence and Data Science approaches have changed how we  interact with data in every discipline.  With innovations in these fields, many industries are seeking to keep up with these advanced techniques, for computation, visualization, and presentation. Likewise, educators aim to match student curriculum both to university programs and to industry trends in data science. This can be particularly challenging given the dynamic nature of the field and the time limitations for delivering meaningful content in the classroom. 

We are excited to announce a new and innovative program for middle and high school teachers and community college faculty. This program invites them to participate during the summer to help advance their understanding of computing in general, and of data science and artificial intelligence in particular.

The National Science Foundation funded Research Experience for Teachers Data3 program aims to provide our teachers with the opportunity to work with Montclair State University and New Jersey Institute of Technology faculty on research problems in data science, artificial intelligence, and software engineering as pertaining to solar and space weather.

All teachers in middle school, high school and community college are invited to apply. The endorsement of your district/college will be required. The application and required commitments can be found here. For further information, contact Dr. Katherine Herbert, Department of Computer Science, Montclair State University, herbertk@montclair.edu, using “Data3 Program Application” as your subject.

Benefits for Participants:

  •  Integration into a 6-week-long summer research experience (July 5th and ends August 11th) co-located at Montclair State University and NJIT. Teachers will receive a $6000 stipend for this period, during which they will work at Montclair State University Monday through Thursday from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM, and then remotely and asynchronously on Fridays.
  • Partnership with computer science (CS) and education researchers to bridge CS content with teacher practices through an immersive teacher-researcher experience at Montclair State University’s Summer Enrichment Red Hawk Laboratory’s EpicSTEMic Program. 
  • Investigation and application of computational thinking and data fluency pedagogy to helping diverse learners with computational thinking concepts, matching these concepts with NJ State Standards in Computer Science.
  • Establishing connections with an established NJIT-Montclair collaborative related to the larger Space Weather Project Earthcube project, to both enhance the two communities’ mutual access and further opportunities for interaction.
  •  Networking with local teachers, higher education faculty, computing industries and community partners.
  •  Participation in dissemination opportunities, including four professional education experiences, a session at the state-wide New Jersey Education Association Conference in Atlantic City, and a newly-created conference for teachers to showcase their work and interact with peers to further dialog on all aspects of data.
  • Access to our program teacher-researchers during the academic year through regularly scheduled office hours.
  • Contributing to the improvement of the program and resulting research, to the benefit of future participants, school districts, the university, industry, and the region and state as a whole.

Benefits for the community:

  • Northern New Jersey has enormous social, economic, and ethnic diversity. Many students have significant need for financial and other support, and have parents with little or no education beyond high school.
  • Many students need motivation to study computer science, and one strong motivator is the potential to participate in and apply computing to impact the real world, both with innovation and enterprise, and with socially, environmentally, and ethically aware applications. For various reasons, this need and this effect can be more acute for under-represented populations including women, Blacks and Latinx, and neurodiverse students.
  • The region is also home to many science and technology companies, both small and large, with a real need for computing and data science expertise. And yet the state and the region cannot fill that demand, graduating far fewer students with computing expertise than are needed. Further, both the state and the region lack proven programs and resources to begin to address that problem.
  • New Jersey is still developing their computer science education standards, making the student and teacher experience variable across the region. Many teachers currently have only a mathematics or business praxis certification.

This program seeks to be a seed for our middle schools, high schools, and community colleges, through which a vibrant computing and data science community can grow and flourish. This will in turn provide students, through the experiences of teacher participants, with opportunities and rewarding challenges, and the “tech” industry in our region with an educated, curious, and motivated workforce.

Application process and commitment

To apply, you will need to

  1. Submit an application.
  2. Attend the summer research and pedagogical experience.
  3.  Produce appropriate documents for the experience.
  4.   Submit a paper to a computing education conference.
  5. Teach a computer science course during the following academic year where the teacher can deploy their module developed at the research experience.
  6.   Participate in two professional education experiences during the academic year.
  7.  Complete program assessment activities.
  8.  Take part in the yearly conference as a presenter.

For this work, our teachers will receive $7000 in pay.  They will receive $6000 during the summer research and an additional $1000 when the academic year activities are complete. Participants will also receive $1000 for travel costs and $1000 to spend on classroom supplies to translate their experience into a module for their class.  Total teacher funding would then come to $9000.

We expect that Data3 will provide our teachers with a meaningful experience and share the results of any findings with our district.  We understand this work is subject to IRB research standards and we will receive that information in an anonymized format.We also are excited for the various continuing professional education programs that will be offered for all of our faculty through this program.

Best wishes on submission and we look forward to working with you.