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Da Vinci Program

During July, teachers from different states  spend an exciting week at the Storrs campus learning engineering fundamentals and developing practical curricula and exercises that will help them expose students to engineering. Participants help select their focused workshop from one of the six areas of engineering specialization. Participating teachers are very excited to go back to their classrooms and discuss how chemistry, physics, biology, and/or math knowledge and skills are integrated into solving challenging real-world problems… it’s called engineering!

Prof Valla has participated to this program for 3 years in a row. Her seminars are sponsored by her NSF award: Turning Waste into Energy. The response from the teachers is amazing!

  • Summer 2012: Fuel Cell
  • Summer 2013 -2016: Biomass conversion to Energy
da Vinci 2016 2016 da Vinci members  – 4 exceptional women in STEM education


Joule Fellow

The Joule Fellows Program is a five-week Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which immerses middle and high school teachers in the super-hot arena of energy research at the Storrs campus.

John Hand, a high school teacher  in Science and Maths from Mansfield Public School, joined our group during summer 2013. Thank you John! It was great to meet you and we hope you will visit us again soon.

Joshua Jones and Branden Grant joined us in summer 2014. They are the main creators of our web page which serves as a database for teachers and students about green technologies based on biomass conversion. It was great to have you guys!!


Bonnie and Greg with Kevin and DavidBonnie Beland (from Vernon High School) and Greg Sember (from  STEM Academy – Manchester High School)joined David and Kevin in our lab this summer (2016). They created two outstanding units for their STEM classes based on Data Analysis and Biomass Calorimetry. It was a pleasure to meet you and have you in the lab! Hope we see you soon.







McNair Program

The mission of the McNair Scholars Program is to prepare talented, highly motivated UConn undergraduate students for doctoral studies in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. Our lab is excited to host Dylan Ramirez!