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California RET

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Title: California RET


1
California RET
  • Communications-Session 1

2
Agenda
  • Reviewing the goals of the NSF RET program 
  • Writing the hypothesis, problem statement, or
    research question
  • Reviewing RET reporting requirements 
  • Understanding common mistakes in technical
    writing
  • Words
  • Sentences
  • Paragraphs 
  • Reporting on your Summer experience 
  • Reviewing project management issues for teachers 
  • Writing your report
  • Outlines
  • Abstracts 
  • Budgeting for your project 
  • Understanding scientific ethics

3
Goal of the RET program
  • The Research Experiences for Teachers (RET)
    program supports the active involvement of K-12
    teachers and community college faculty in
    engineering research in order to bring knowledge
    of engineering and technological innovation into
    their classrooms.

4
NSF Hypotheses
  • Immersing K-16 teachers in university research
    activities, under the supervision of funded PIs,
    will result in the teachers introducing
    hands-on, inquiry-based activities in their
    science, math, and technology classrooms.
  • Adopting and adapting hands-on, inquiry-based
    activities in science, math, and technology K-16
    classrooms will increase learning among students.
    The impact will be assessed by test score
    improvements, career choice indications, and
    other measures of subject mastery.

5
Hypothesis Defined
A hypothesis is a 'small' cause and effect
statement about a specific set of circumstances.
It represents a belief that a researcher
possesses before conducting a satisfactory number
of experiments that could potentially disprove
that belief.
6
The Hypothesis, Problem Statement or Research
Question
  • The difference between the way things are and the
    way things ought to be.
  • The cause-effect relationship being proposed.
  • No more than three to five sentence paragraph.
  • Elements
  • Statement of the problem (evidence of the
    importance of the problem).
  • Realistic solution-the relationship (indication
    of the path to the solution).
  • Quantitative/Qualitative criteria for measuring
    the solution.

7
Hypothesis example Cardiac arrest and
subsequent neurological damages represent the
leading cause of morbidity and devastating
disabilities. Currently success of the
resuscitation effort depends significantly on
minimizing cerebral complications, yet little
treatment strategies are available to ameliorate
brain damages. Utilizing novel techniques in
electro-physiological monitoring and gene
expression studies, this proposal aims to show
that the progression of cerebral injury can be
quantitatively characterized by brains cellular
and electrical responses. This approach allows
for the identification of molecular cascades that
influence neurological damages and exploitation
of potential pharmacological targets for
therapeutic intervention. The outcome of
investigation will lead to objective measures of
therapies centered to enhance cerebral tolerance
of oxygen deprivation by stimulating protective
cellular mechanisms to facilitate recovery.
8
With hands-on learning and clearly written
instructions, students can connect with
technology, perform at all levels of taxonomy and
have real-life experiences.
9
  • In opposition to national trends, the incidence
    of AIDS among the homeless in Baltimore has
    increased by more than 30 in the last six years.
    The diseases progression for many of these
    individuals is accelerated by the fact that most
    of these homeless individuals are IV drug users.
    The establishment of a residential facility to
    house homeless individuals stricken with AIDS
    would provide a controlled environment for the
    treatment of both their addictions and illness.

10
  • Cardiovascular diseases is the leading cause of
    death in the United States, and five million
    years of potential life are estimated to be lost
    annually. Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation
    restores spontaneous circulation to about 70,000
    cardiac arrest patients a year in the US, but 60
    of these patients die subsequently in the
    hospital due to extensive brain damage and only
    10 are able to resume their normal lifestyles.
    There are currently no approved drugs to improve
    patient quality of life or neurological function.
    A recent emerging trend suggests that use of the
    body's natural defense pathways, a mechanism
    called preconditioning, can lead to robust
    recovery and improved outcomes. First, I hope to
    quantify the injury precisely using brain
    rhythms, neurological behavior scoring and cell
    morphology in a rat model. Second, I hope to
    optimize the preconditioning effect. Finally, I
    hope to elucidate possible mechanisms of
    preconditioning and mimick the preconditioning
    effect through pharmacological intervention to
    establish the effectiveness of preconditioning
    pathways.

11
  • Students in grades 5 and 6 are Americas future.
    But the vast majority of these students are
    performing at sub-standard academic levels. This
    project aims to engage students in an applied
    research project analyzing the water quality of
    the Chesapeake Bay. Activities will include
    collecting samples, testing, analysis of impact
    and reporting results. The standardized science
    scores for students engaged in the project will
    improve by 12 percent.

12
  • Tissue loss and organ failure are serious
    health problems that account for nearly half of
    all U.S. health care expenditures. The advent of
    polymer scaffolds has led to rapid advances in
    tissue regeneration, but current scaffold
    materials are not well suited for promoting the
    regeneration of some soft tissues. With the
    development of novel biopolymers,
    tissue-engineering scaffolds can be developed to
    yield successful regeneration of these soft
    tissues. Naturally occurring cell binding motifs
    will be incorporated in biopolymers capable of
    forming physiologically reversible hydrogels.
    This will be accomplished using novel methods in
    genetic engineering, and will result in
    intelligent hydrogels that will aid in the
    regeneration of specific types of soft tissue in
    the human body.
  •  

13
A significant portion of the Earths
non-submerged surface is unfit for normal forms
of farming due to extreme aridity, and the
inhabitants suffer from malnutrition. If it were
possible to build a portable, durable, and
completely encapsulated system which is partially
self-subsistent, then these people would not need
to go hungry- they could cultivate their own food
without evaporative loss. My solution is a
double-shelled system capable of supporting both
plants and fish in a symbiotic and highly
efficient way. The purpose of this particular
stage is to prove that the system is capable of
working, with no degradation, for a period of not
less than three (3) weeks.
14
In North America alone, millions of people are
victims of theft in their home each year. Often
times these victims fail to install security
systems because they are too expensive or
troublesome. However, a portable, simple, and
cost effective motion sensor and auto-dialer
could be installed in every home in America.
This would ideally reduce theft by 100 in the
homes that had these systems installed.
15
RET teachers have two hypotheses.
  • Your Summer research activity
  • The curriculum innovation you plan to introduce

16
1. Robotics in surgical applications have
significantly improved the accuracy of such
procedures, minimizing unintentional damage to
the patient. Currently, our surgical assistance
mechanism utilizes computer-monitored human
control of the x, y, and z-axes of motion to take
biopsy samples. The insertion of the biopsy
needle occurs along the z-axis and is the motion
that presents the greatest potential to cause
damage. Therefore, it is our goal to add robotic
control to this axis of motion, removing human
error in the insertion process. 2. Students who
realize the context of physics and engineering
are proven to gain greater enjoyment and deeper
understanding of the subjects. An interesting
application of electricity and mechanics is found
in the surgical assistance devices used in
cutting-edge hospitals around the world. This
project aims to engage students in the study of
electricity and mechanics as it relates to the
function of a model surgical system, thereby
integrating the SDE curricula with a highly
engaging application. Activities will include
analyzing robotic components, devising a strategy
for safe tumor removal, and performing a
simulated surgery. The heightened interest will
improve student performance on formal
assessments.
17
Readability Studies
  • Word choice (including verb usage)
  • Sentence length and structure
  • Paragraph structure
  • Punctuation

18
Words
  • Select strong vigorous words
  • Use familiar words
  • Use specialized words with caution
  • Use concrete words
  • Prefer active to passive voice
  • Avoid overuse of camouflaged verbs

19
Concrete Words
  • A sizable profit
  • Good accuracy
  • The leading student
  • The majority
  • In the near future
  • A work-saving machine
  • Light in weight
  • Easy to measure

20
Use Simple Wording
  • Use words with simple, clear meaning
  • be cognizant of
  • commence
  • utilize
  • facilitate
  • optimum
  • should it prove to be the case
  • with the possible exception of
  • for the reason that

21
How to Win at Wordsmanshlp
Systematic Buzz Phrase Projector

0. management 1. organizational 2. monitored 3.
reciprocal 4. digital 5. logistical 6.
transitional 7. incremental 8. third-generation 9.
policy
0. integrated 1. total 2. systematized 3.
parallel 4. functional 5. responsive 6.
optional 7. synchronized 8. compatible 9.
balanced
0. options 1. flexibility 2. capability 3.
mobility 4. programming 5. concept 6.
time-phase 7. projection 8. hardware 9.
contingency
Philip Broughton, Public Health Service
22
Avoid Using Sexist Words
  • Plural
  • Reword the sentence
  • Neutral expressions
  • Avoid male dominance expressions

23
Clear Writing
  • Use words appropriately
  • its its
  • their there
  • which that
  • lie lay

24
Choose the Right Words
25
We produced a small (amount, number) of
automobiles this year, even (fewer, less) than
last year.
26
Exercise We produced a small number of
automobiles this year, even fewer than last year.
Discussion The words number and fewer are
appropriate because the sentence refers to a
quantity that can be counted.
27
The serum had serious side (affects,
effects).
28
Exercise The serum had serious side effects.
Discussion Affect refers to feelings or
influence effect refers to results or
consequences.
29
Every 250 years, Pluto completes (its, it's)
orbit about the sun.
30
Exercise Every 250 years, Pluto completes
its orbit about the sun. Discussion Its is
possessive for it its is a contraction for it
is.
31
When a photon in that energy range strikes the
atom, the atom (looses, loses) one of its outer
electrons.
32
Exercise When a photon in that energy range
strikes the atom, the atom loses one of its outer
electrons. Discussion The verb "lose" means to
part with or to miss from one's possession. The
word "loose" is generally used as an adjective,
meaning not rigidly fastened. When used as a
verb, "loose" means to let loose and implies a
conscious act, something an electron does not
perform.
33
The talk centered (around, on) the
(principal, principle) of virtual work.
34
Discussion The talk centered on the principle
of virtual work.
35
This report discusses how the eruption
(affected, effected) the surrounding terrain.
36
Discussion In this case, affected is correct
because the volcano acted upon or influenced the
surroundings.
37
Last year, Japan (lead, led) the world in
automobile sales.
38
Exercise Last year, Japan led the world in
automobile sales. Discussion The word "led" is
the past tense of the verb "to lead"
39
We then sent the broken part to John Brooks,
(who, whom) the laser group had recommended.
40
Exercise We then sent the broken part to John
Brooks, whom the laser group had recommended.
Discussion The word "who" is used for the
subject of the dependent clause "whom" is used
for the direct object, indirect object, or object
of a preposition in the dependent clause.
41
Reduced weight was the (principal, principle)
reason for choosing aluminum.
42
Discussion Principal is correct here
because it means main or primary.
43
Neither the engineers (nor, or) the
technicians were hurt in the blaze.
44
Discussion neither/noreither/or
45
All the bombings involved explosives (that /
, which) contained the chemicals PETN and RDX.

46
That is correct because the composition of the
explosives was not restricted to two chemicals.
47
All the bombings involved Semtex (that/ ,
which) contains the chemicals PETN and RDX.
48
In this case it is restrictive, so ,which
is most appropriate.
49
To treat a bite from the puff adder, select
the anti-venom serum (, which counteracts the
adder's poison. / that counteracts the adder's
poison.)
50
Discussion The answer depends on the
situation. If there is only one anti-venom serum
and the information about counteracting the
adder's poison is additional information for the
reader's knowledge, then use the "which" clause.
If there are several anti-venom serums and the
information about counteracting the adder's
poison identifies the type of serum to select,
then use the "that" clause.
51
(Hopefully, / It is hoped that) the antibodies
will destroy the cancer cells.
52
Exercise It is hoped that the antibodies will
destroy the cancer cells. Discussion The word
hopefully means in a manner full of hope, not it
is hoped that. A correct use would be as follows
"We looked hopefully to the courts for a ruling
on the contract dispute."
53
Keep sentences short
  • Include an average 16 to 18 words per sentence
  • Use commas, colons and semi-colons sparingly and
    appropriately.
  • Place related words close together.

54
Active /Passive
  • The new process is believed to be superior by the
    investigators.
  • The policy was enforced by the committee.
  • The office will be inspected by Mr. Hall.
  • A gain of 30.1 was recorded for soft-line sales.
  • It is desired by the office that the problem
    should be brought before the board.

55
Camouflaged Verbs
  • Amortization of the account was effected by the
    staff.
  • Control of the water was not possible.
  • The new policy involved the standardization of
    the procedures.
  • Application of the mixture was accomplished.

56
Clear Writing
  • Avoid fuzzy or inappropriate use of words
  • The intrinsic labyrinth of wires must be first
    disentangled. The liquid contents of container
    should then be disgorged via the spout by the
    operator.

57
When the element numbered one is brought into
tactual contact with the element numbered two,
when the appropriate conditions of temperature
have been met above the previously determined
safety point, then there will be exhibited a
tendency for the appropriate circuit to be closed
and consequently to serve the purpose of
activating an audible warning device.
58
  • When the heat rises above the set safety point,
    element one touches element two, closing a
    circuit and setting off a bell.

59
Clear Writing
  • Keep subject, verb, and object close together.
  • A comprehensive evaluation of the operational
    retraining program and of the progress of the
    10,000 to 15,000 pilots who change specialties
    each year is underway.

60
Objective Versus Personal Writing
  • Objective third person
  • Personal first person
  • Avoid awkward references
  • In the opinion of the researcher this conclusion
    supports the need for additional research.

61
Lists - Parallel Construction
  • Sentence
  • Research is continuing on the increase in red
    cells.
  • Noun phrase
  • Increase in red cells
  • Decapitated sentence
  • Unable to determine why red cells are increasing.

62
  • The three largest earthquakes occurred in San
    Francisco, Tokyo and Lima.

63
  • Original The three largest earthquakes occurred
    in San Francisco, Tokyo, and Lima.
  • Discussion While the comma following "Tokyo" is
    optional, it is certainly not incorrect.

64
  • The three largest earthquakes occurred between
    San Francisco and Palo Alto, within ten miles of
    Tokyo, and in the mountains above Lima.

65
  • The three largest earthquakes occurred around the
    Pacific rim
  • between San Francisco and Palo Alto
  • within ten miles of Tokyo
  • in the mountains above Lima.

66
  • The three largest earthquakes occurred
  • around the Pacific rim
  • in a rural area between San Francisco and Palo
    Alto
  • in an urban location two miles south of Tokyos
    city center and
  • in the mountains forty miles east of Lima.

67
Clear Writing
  • Write sentences averaging less than twenty words.
  • Avoid compound tenses for simplicity and
    certainty (could, should).
  • Avoid there is and there are.
  • Write a clear topic statement for every
    paragraph.
  • Avoid wordy or superfluous statements like The
    purpose of my paper is . .

68
  • Watch for tense changes
  • By May 1, grant decisions will be made, and
    funding is distributed by June 1.
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