Education and Outreach - RET

Research Experience for Teachers

Each summer, two or more high school or middle school teachers are invited to participate in a MRSEC program “Research Experience for Teachers” (RET). Teachers work on a research program during the summer, gaining first-hand experience with cutting–edge research and modern technologies. A summer stipend is provided. The relationships between the teachers and the researchers expand to include the teacher’s students during the following school year. MRSEC members visit the high or middle school at monthly intervals, bringing hands–on science activities and showing examples of how materials research affects their lives.


RET participants in

2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003


In the summer of 2018, the following teachers joined the MRSEC team:



Emily Schaefer, Lincoln East High School
worked with Rebecca Lai, Chemistry.

"The objective of my research project was to compare the sensing capabilities of serine-containing and phosphoserine-containing electrochemical peptide-based sensors to detect Uranium (U(VI)). Both probes are modified with a methylene blue redox label. In the absence of target, the probe is highly flexible and the current is high. When exposed to target [U(VI)], the current is reduced due to the restrictions created by bonds. The phosphoserine had a higher binding affinity for the target as a result of the extra phosphoric group, and for that reason, it reduced the current more than the probe lacking the extra phosphoric group."

Steven Wignall, Seward High School
worked with Stephen Ducharme, Physics.

Ethan Van Winkle (Lincoln Southeast High School)
worked with Shireen Adenwalla, Physics.


Patricia Niemoth, Dorchester High School
worked with Xia Hong, Physics.

"Working with Dr. Hong’s research group, under the direction of Dr. Jinfeng Song, I helped to locate thin pieces of 2D material for use in transistors. Using an optical microscope, I scanned slides to locate uniform thin pieces of MoS2 and ReS2. The pieces needed to be a minimum of 5 microns by 5 microns. These monolayers or bilayers will be used in making transistors. I was also attended talks on microscopy, X-ray diffraction, ferroelectrics, nanofabrication, lithography, and more. This has been a wonderful experience, learning so much and working with passionate and caring people."