Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Back in the Lab

Welcome to my first Research Experience for Teachers (RET) blog posting. I hope to use this site to reflect on my experiences in the program, connect the science to my chemistry curriculum, and to share some of the exciting work I will be doing.

This summer will see me spending 6 weeks at BU studying biophotonics. The research will be done primarily in the Photonics building, a beautiful facility that has an incredible amount of state-of-the-art equipment. Below is a picture of the building as seen from Cambridge (photo from

I come into this program with a different background than many of my colleagues. I worked in biotechnology for 5 years before coming to teaching. My specialty was in pulmonary delivery of medications, but my training was broad enough to touch on many of the topics that are being studied in the photonics building. This has allowed me to have a vague idea about what the faculty are talking about, but the specifics remain illusive.

It is this last point that excites me the most. It may seem strange to be enthusiastic about one's own ignorance, but the quest to connect disparate shards of knowledge with new information to form novel understandings is at the heart of education. This will be the first time that I will be studying "new" science since I left industry and now I come at the process with a different view. The question isn't "How can this idea be used to make money?" , but "How do I introduce this idea to my students to increase understanding and get them excited about science?" I'm excited for the journey (and for the opportunity to get my hands dirty again).

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