Let’s bring nanotechnology to your classroom 

NEWT is dedicated to building a diverse and inclusive workforce through the promotion of innovative K-12 teacher enrichment and student engineering programs for communities most in need.  Through our pre-college partnerships, we aim to engage all students in nanotechnology, project-based learning, and water sustainability concepts. 

NEWT K-12 Lessons 
These engineering activities and challenges engage K-12 students in standards-aligned  NEWT  topics. 

NEWT K-12 Videos
These whiteboard animation videos engage K-12 students in high-level nanotechnology research topics.


STEM Students

NEWT offers two programs for K-12 teachers, the NanoEnvironmental Engineering for Teachers (NEET) course and a Research Experience for Teachers (RET).

NEWT NanoEnvironmental Engineering for Teachers (NEET)

The NEWT NanoEnvironmental Engineering for Teachers (NEET) course is for AP Environmental Science, Environmental Systems, and Biology/Life Sciences teachers to learn about water sustainability, Engineering Design, and Project-Based Learning. Participants receive 45 CPE hours, a $600 stipend, and a materials kit!

The purpose of the program is to increase the content knowledge of educators and to empower them in implementing rigorous project-based engineering activities on the topic of water sustainability in the classroom. The goals of NEET are to:

  • Think reflectively and critically about current teacher practices;
  • Improve secondary teachers’ understanding of advanced placement and state standards;
  • Facilitate the transformation of teacher practice through the exploration of best practices in educational pedagogy;
  • Disseminate NEWT research conducted at Rice University, Arizona State University (ASU), The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), and Yale University; and
  • Support NEET participants in the application of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and engineering practices.

    For completing all program requirements, participants will receive:
    • A $600 stipend;
    • A materials kit;
    • 45 hours of sustained and supported professional development at Rice University, UTEP, or ASU in Engineering Design & Project-Based Learning (PBL);
    • 6 hours of G/T professional development credit, subject to principal approval;
    • 3 hours of graduate credit from Rice University (available upon special application plus a $150 registration fee);
    • New strategies to engage high school students in water sustainability;
    • Lectures from NEWT faculty on cutting-edge Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) research; and
    • Opportunities for student campus and lab tours.

Meet our NEET Teachers!

Participants are required to attend regular evening classes and the final NEET Showcase from January – April.  

Research Experience for Teachers (RET)

The Research Experience for Teachers (RET) is a year-long program for teachers in the Houston, TX; El Paso, TX; and Phoenix, AZ areas. The program includes a 6-week internship in a nanotechnology research laboratory focused on water treatment. Selected participants will work in laboratories doing research on water treatment at Rice University, The University of Texas at El Paso, or Arizona State University, depending on their area. The internship includes:

  • 6-weeks worth of sustained and supported professional development at Rice University;
  • $7,000 in stipends (spread out over the summer and school year);
  • Networking opportunities with fellow teachers; and
  • Training and guidance in presenting and creating original lesson plans.


Here is an example of a lesson plan by one of our NEWT teachers. 

S.Reyes_Liquid Crystal Polymers from NEWT Center on Vimeo.

NEWT RET emphasizes inquiry-based learning where teachers conduct research and apply it in their classroom. Weekly activities engage participants to share their research experiences and brainstorm lesson ideas. Participants developed lesson materials based on their research experience and have the opportunity of publication. Participants also gain research presentation experience.

Participation in NEWT RET requires attending both the summer and school year training sessions. You can learn about the experience from past participants in the NEWT RET blog

Have a question? Get in touch with Christina Alston.