Summer Research Institute

The Berkeley Engineering Research Experiences for Teachers (BERET+C) program provides teachers and teachers-to-be with paid summer research fellowships and guides them to develop and teach lessons that connect engineering and computational research to K-12 science and mathematics curricula in the classroom. This program is jointly operated by Ignited and the Cal Teach science and mathematics teacher education program.

BERET+C places in-service and pre-service teacher pairs within faculty labs at UC Berkeley under the supervision of a common research mentor. In-service teachers have at least three years of classroom experience teaching predominantly underrepresented students in nearby public middle and high schools. Pre-service teachers are UC Berkeley students majoring in science or engineering and enrolled in one or more of the series of courses offered by the Cal Teach program. To be in Cal Teach, a student must have a committment to pursue a career in teaching math or science in the K-12 classroom.

Research disciplines include Bioengineering, Chemistry, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Physics. See past labs here.

This program features:

  • One in-service and one pre-service teacher are paired in a host lab under the same research mentor, but working on his/her own unique research project
  • In-service and pre-service teachers work full-time for 8 weeks. Participants attend lab meetings and meet regularly with their research mentors to assess progress.
  • Teams use their summer research experiences as the basis for developing new engineering lessons and curricular materials for classroom use. During and after the summer, teams work together to develop a curriculum unit of a few days to several weeks, and then jointly teach it in the in-service teacher's classroom during the academic year.
  • Teachers are paid a stipend and can apply for additional grants to implement their lessons.
  • Teachers engage in weekly professional development sessions with other teachers, attend a half-day symposium on engineering careers and teaching strategies, and present their research results in a poster session at the end of the summer.
  • In-service teachers are encouraged to participate in the BERET+C program for two consecutive years.

To Apply

In-service teachers apply via our nonprofit parter Ignited. Applications are accepted from November through March. We encourage you to apply as early as possible. Information and application will be available soon.

Program contact

Elisa Stone, PhD

Program Coordinator, BERET +C