Summer Engineering Research Apprenticeship (SERA)

for new or returning K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, or Mathematics (STEAM) teachers


The SERA program is a new, NSF-backed initiative at SDSU, which is funded as part of a NSF CAREER Award and headed by Dr. Christy M. Dykstra. The SERA program aims to expose K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) teachers to science and engineering research in an interdisciplinary lab at SDSU. Participants will gain hands-on experience and assist with research in the Environmental Biotechnology Lab on the SDSU main campus. Participants will also develop a STEAM-based classroom lesson or activity for use in their classroom.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is SERA?

  • A paid, part-time, 6-week summer research apprenticeship at San Diego State University
  • June 26 – August 4, 2023
  • A new National Science Foundation-funded program to help K-12 teachers gain science/engineering research experience

Who should apply?

  • Current and future K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) teachers
  • Able to attend six weeks of daily (Mon-Fri) 4-hour sessions on the San Diego State University campus
  • No prior research or laboratory experience is needed

Why participate in the SERA program?

  • $4,000 stipend
  • Get hands-on experience in a science and engineering research lab at San Diego State University
  • Contribute to cutting-edge research to develop new microbial-based green energy systems, with the potential to help author a scientific publication
  • Develop a classroom activity that promotes STEAM and research principles
  • Generate a network of scientists and engineers that can engage with your classroom during the school year

What hours are required?

The program will consist of part-time hours (20 hours per week) at the SDSU main campus in the Engineering Building. Hours are fairly flexible and will be decided with input from the selected participants. We understand that there may be outside obligations and will try our best to accommodate these schedules. Some "homework" may be required outside of the in-person sessions.

How do I apply to the SERA program?

Complete the online application form below:



This information is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. 2145902.