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Teacher Opportunity: participate in a summer professional development program and NSF-funded research!

March 30, 2022

TRAILS (Teachers and Researchers Advancing Integrated Lesson in STEM) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) project that engages teachers in a local community of STEM practices while addressing state education standards. The TRAILS team consists of researchers from three universities and high school teachers in Biology or Agriculture and Technology/Engineering. The TRAILS team enhances science and technology teaching by developing integrated STEM experiences and lessons while advancing pedagogical approaches. Teachers will learn how to use advanced innovation tools such as parametric modeling software and 3D printers and scanners.


Summer Institute: First Cohort at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, June 20th – 24th and July 27th -July 1st, 2022. Cohort II, Summer 2023 on Otero Campus, La Junta, CO, and Cohort III 2024 on University of Hawai’i campus.

During the Institute, you will work with university faculty (Purdue University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Otero College, and Ivy Tech Community College) and industry partners to co-generate integrated STEM lessons that include engineering design and scientific inquiry approaches. During the first five days (first week, face-to-face professional development), you will participate in one authentic, standards-based STEM unit developed by the TRAILS team (D-BAIT). During the second week PD (Virtual), You and a partner teacher will also create a second integrated STEM lesson to be implemented at your school.

The TRAILS project will help teachers create integrated STEM lessons through authentic, inquiry-based, and engineering design-based activities. The experiences will prepare you to integrate STEM content, address academic standards, and use advanced innovation tools such as parametric modeling software (CAD) and 3D printers. Lessons will be developed around biomimicry-inspired contexts. Sample Lesson (D-BAIT) includes:

  • Designing entomology-inspired fishing lures allowing students to apply scientific knowledge to design and test 3D printed artificial insect baits.
  • Concepts: food chain, predators/prey, buoyancy, entomology, and biomimicry.


Participation Requirements

To participate in the TRAILS project, you must:

  • Attend the two-week summer institute; week 1 is on UMES campus, June 20th -24 (face to face), and week 2, June 27th -July 1st, 2022, online synchronously.
  • You and a partner teacher will create one integrated STEM unit (custom lesson). A total of two TRAILS lessons, D-BAIT (TRAILS exemplar lesson) and a custom lesson (created by you and your partner teacher), will be implemented in your classroom during the next academic year.
  • Participate in the project's online learning community, called TRAILS Community
  • Participate in research and evaluation of the project and its implementation.


Participation Benefits

Teachers who participate in the project will be compensated for their time and effort by:

•   A stipend of $2500 ($1000 for summer institute completion, $1000 for

implementation and participation in research/evaluation; and $500 for follow-on sessions.

  • An opportunity to receive consumable and teacher supplies needed for your TRAILS lesson implementation, up to $300 per teacher.
  • When possible, teachers will receive PGP points for participation or continuing credits up to 70 hrs. to renew teacher licensure.



The TRAILS project is seeking applications for the 2022 Summer Institute from partnering high school (Biology or Agriculture) and Engineering/Technology education teachers (teaching IED, or POE, EDD) in eastern Chesapeake Bay (Maryland and Virginia). Applications will be accepted from partnering science and technology education teachers from the same school. Both teachers must agree to participate.


Apply online at: SV_3yemUNmoEWln1YO


For More Information:

If you would like additional information, please contact Dr. Todd Kelley by e-mail:         

TRAILS Project

Att: Todd R. Kelley

Purdue University

342 Young Hall

Technology Leadership and Innovation 155 South Grant Street

West Lafayette, IN 47907-2114 Phone: (765) 496-2383

FAX: (765) 496-2519