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This paper presents the Science and Mechatronics Aided Research for Teachers (SMART) program which provides teachers with training and workshops. The SMART program is funded by the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Division of Engineering Education and Centers under its Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program. It aims to enrich precollege education by providing teachers from the New York metropolitan region with enhanced science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educational content through training and research workshops. The program focuses on mechatronics as a vehicle for engaging teachers with hands-on activities to hone their research skills and exposes them to prototype product development. Within ten months of attending the program, 2003 SMART alumni are leading efforts at their schools to adopt mechatronics technology to stimulate their students' interest in STEM fields. Several teachers are leading new robotics programs at their schools.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2004