Championing educational collaboration
Consistent with the CBBG’s focus on bio-inspired/bio-mediated processes, our education program places the study of natural processes and the natural environment at the center of our activities. The CBBG links cutting-edge, innovative, high-tech research with tangible, knowable aspects of a student’s natural world. We believe this engages students and encourages them to learn about the earth, soils, and how to design sustainable engineering projects. This is achieved across environments (e.g., laboratory and field) and across media (e.g., static and dynamic electronic learning modules).
Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)
CBBG has become an REU site, allowing students from across the nation to visit, learn, and experience world-class bio-geotechnical engineering. Each student is given the opportunity to work closely with the Center faculty and other Center researchers. Students are granted stipends, and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel.
Research Experience for Teachers (RET)
CBBG has become an RET (Research Experience for Teachers) site, allowing area K-12 and community college teachers to participate in cutting-edge laboratory research and use our test bed facilities. In addition, teachers engage in a week-long curriculum development workshop, then develop modules to implement in their classrooms.
This Young Scholars (YS) Program immerses participants in technical research and exposes them to the university experience as a whole, and specifically within the scope of the CBBG. Scholars are provided with a mentored research experience, participate in personal/professional development, enrichment activities, and present a poster based on biogeotechnical engineering research at the end of the summer.
Diversity and Outreach
The CBBG leadership exemplifies “diversity that fosters diversity,” and brings together four universities with large minority enrollments and exemplary outreach STEM programs. The CBBG’s comprehensive educational and diversity programs include outreach to K-12, community college, and 4-year college undergraduates to expose them to scientific principles and engineering solutions. Undergraduate and graduate curricula, mentoring and internship programs, and professional development programs such as job shadowing are used to train a workforce equipped with the interdisciplinary skills necessary for success in this emerging field. CBBG outreach programs are designed to captivate a diverse group of students and foster interest in the interdependence between societal well-being, the engineered infrastructure, and the natural world.
The Center is committed to Professional Development for the industry workforce. As part of our education program, we provide opportunities for our Industry Partners to obtain Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and Professional Development Hours (PDHs) through both in-person programs and virtual seminars. We also leverage our unique facilities to provide training in current laboratory methodology and techniques.
Participants in the CBBG Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Summer Program are given the opportunity to work in a CBBG lab and become a contributing part of cutting-edge research in our testbed facilities. Teachers are then supported in the development of grade-level appropriate instructional lessons based on their lab research and the subject of biogeotechnical engineering. The goal is to bring the knowledge of their direct experience in the lab along with their increased subject-matter knowledge directly to students of all grade levels.
Our collection of teaching modules, lesson plans, and other resources have been categorized into age-appropriate pages for pre-college audiences as well as undergraduate and graduate students.