The research and educational mission of the Darling Lab includes many interactions with the surrounding community. One of these interactions is a recurring Research for Teachers (RET) opportunity funded through supplements from the National Science Foundation. For several summers, the Darling Lab has welcomed pairs of high school teachers from the Providence Public School District. Over a period of 6 weeks, the teachers pursue a small research project, talk with and learn about the work being done by other researchers in the lab, and take advantage of the various activities happening on Brown’s campus. In addition to this experience, teachers are also asked to develop a classroom exercise that can be used during the school year to introduce interdisciplinary science. This encourages high schoolers to see math, biology, chemistry, physics, etc. not as separate disciplines but rather interrelated topics that are all relevant when talking real-world investigations.
Our past RET applicants did a fantastic job with this and have put together several distinct lesson plans that are freely available to other educators. If you would like to introduce your students to the concept of interdisciplinary research, please feel free to download and use any of the below materials.