HHMI-FT FAQ

Text:
Increase font size
Decrease font size
  1. What tasks will HHMI-FT interns participate in?
  2. How much time is required of interns during the summer research experience?
  3. Who may apply for the program?
  4. How will HHMI-FT interns be selected?
  5. What are the specific benefits of the Fellowship?
  6. What products are research inters expected to create?
  7. What equipment and supplies will interns need?
  8. How is a Future Teacher Intern paired with a research mentor?
  9. What kind of support will HHMI-FT interns receive?
  10. What are the expected outcomes of the HHMI-FT program?
  11. How will the work of the summer research interns help other teachers?
  12. What is expected of interns once they complete the summer research internship?

 

  1. What tasks will HHMI-FT interns participate in?

    During the summer internship, the HHMI-FT interns will work with a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow who will serve as their research mentor. The research mentor will help the HHMI-FT intern understand the scientific phenomena the laboratory focuses on and the specific research questions that guide current research efforts, as well as the how previous research has informed current research efforts. In addition the research mentor will help the HHMI-FT intern learn the science and technology behind the various research methodologies the lab utilizes to pursue answers to their research questions. Thus, the HHMI-FT intern will not conduct their own independent research project, but will partner with a graduate mentor to support the efforts of an ongoing project in the lab. This approach will support greater communication between the intern and the research mentor as well as leave more time for the intern to develop his or her online learning module. It is an expectation, however, that the HHMI-FT intern will participate in all the steps of the research process including setting up experiments and collecting, recording and interpreting data to the extent that these activities are feasible over the course of the internship. We believe these personal experiences are essential for them to be able to explain these methodologies to the others.

  2. How much time is required of interns during the summer research experience?

    Future Teachers selected for the summer research internship make a commitment to work with research mentors for 10-weeks, 40 hours per week. Internships will begin in mid-May and conclude at the end of July. Interns are expected to complete follow-up surveys administered by the program evaluators.

  3. Who may apply for the program?

    Current UNC BEST students and alumni enrolled as fulltime students during the 2010-2011 academic year may apply. Participants are expected to have a minimum 2.5 GPA and be in good academic standing with the university.

  4. How will HHMI-FT interns be selected?

    A Selection Committee comprised of full time UNC Chapel Hill faculty from the College of Arts and Science and the School of Education will use a rubric to evaluate and select potential participants. Participant selection will be announced to all applicants and mentors by the end of March 2011.

  5. What are the specific benefits of the Fellowship?

    UNC BEST Future Teacher Summer Inters receive a $5,000 stipend for the 10 week internship. An initial payment of $4,000 will be made at the beginning of the internship and $1,000 upon completion of specific benchmarks.

  6. What products are research inters expected to create?

    HHMI-FT interns will create online learning modules that explain the research narrative of their host laboratory with an emphasis on how the research narrative exemplifies the NOS. Using photos, diagrams and videos, the learning modules will explain the scientific phenomena studied in the host laboratory as well as the research methods utilized to pursue the research questions. The learning modules will be designed like How Stuff Works sites with a hierarchic structure of 7-10 hyperlinked web pages that explore the phenomena and research methods through graphics and easy-to-understand language. Thus, the learning modules can provide self-study opportunities and curriculum support to high school science teachers, advanced high school students, undergraduate and graduate students at UNC. Interns will pilot test their online learning modules in the classroom during the student teaching internship or when they enter the teaching profession.

  7. What equipment and supplies will interns need?

    All summer interns are expected to use their own personal laptop throughout the duration of the internship.

  8. How is a Future Teacher Intern paired with a research mentor?

    Generally, mentors agree to make available specific projects in their area of expertise prior to the application period. Prospective interns express an interest in a particular research area that meets their professional needs when they apply. When possible, program staff will try to assign interns to a researcher with similar interests.

  9. What kind of support will HHMI-FT interns receive?

    To support the complex technical skills needed to develop the learning module and the pedagogical expertise to make learning modules accessible to a wide range of learners, technology mentors and science education mentors will work with HHMI-FT students each summer. The technology mentors are UNC undergraduate and graduate students with knowledge and skills in computer science and graphic design who will partner with the HHMI-FT interns to help them create diagrams, simulations and other graphics for the learning modules. The technology mentors will be responsible for developing a common template for the learning modules and supporting the interns in identifying appropriate goals for the technological components. In addition to the technology mentors, two science education graduate students will support the HHMI-FT interns in developing learning modules that are pedagogically sound and informed by science education research. The pedagogical mentors will meet with interns individually and in groups throughout the internship to support the interns’ developing NOS understandings and their ability to translate these understandings into accessible and meaningful learning modules.

  10. What are the expected outcomes of the HHMI-FT program?

    The learning modules created and revised by HHMI-FT students will support high school teachers in presenting examples of current research in their classroom instruction and supporting teachers in understanding how the research narratives exemplify the NOS. The learning modules will also be posted on Learn NC (www.learnnc.org), a highly popular educational resource site filled with lesson plans, teaching strategies, and online support organized by North Carolina Standard Course of Study objectives so they will be available to science teachers across the state.

  11. How will the work of the summer research interns help other teachers?

    The curriculum resources developed by UNC BEST interns are made available to teachers on a dedicated website. Interns are encouraged to present their work to teachers and administrators at state and national professional conferences and in professional learning communities in local school systems. The experience gained through the Future Teachers internship experience equips UNC BEST students to serve as instructional leaders and expert resources for their schools and school communities.

  12. What is expected of interns once they complete the summer research internship?

    After successfully completing the fellowship, teachers become part of a networked cohort of UNC BEST Alumni. UNC BEST Alumni typically take on a variety of leadership roles within their schools, communities and beyond.