Aebeyo Abraha spends most of the year teaching chemistry at Smith High School in Greensboro. Last summer and again this year, he has been a valued member of the research staff of at N.C. A&T’s Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials.
But that work is on hold for the next two weeks as Abraha travels to India in a program sponsored by the U.S. State Department. The Teachers for Global Classrooms program will send 65 U.S. teachers abroad this summer (300 applied).
Abraha will visit middle schools, high schools and colleges in Mumbai, New Delhi and Pune. Other teachers are going to Brazil, Ghana, Indonesia, Morocco and Ukraine.
Abraha is particularly interested in bringing global awareness to his classroom and in how to relate science and technology to real-life problems. He’s also looking forward to comparing classrooms, lesson plans and other aspects of teaching.
“What are they doing differently?” he asks.
In addition to learning, Abraha also will have an opportunity to teach. He’ll make a presentation to 360 students on best practices for linking research to real life.
“I think that’s the toughest part,” he said. “You have to find a way to something students can relate to.”
Abraha will put what he learns in India to work in the classroom, exposing his students to a cross-cultural perspective. He’s already putting to use his experience as an A&T researcher.
Working with Dr. Yeoheung Yun, he has focused on how magnesium corrodes in simulated human body fluid. The interaction of magnesium with the human body is a key issue in the center’s effort to use it to develop implantable medical devices that will break down naturally in the human body rather than be removed surgically.
He’s designed a chemistry module based on his ERC work, extending the impact of his work from his classroom to those of many other teachers. The module is being published this summer.
One of the ERC’s major objectives is to develop an innovative, diverse, and globally competitive workforce for the U.S. biomedical implant industry. As part of its work in that area, the center provides summer research experiences for secondary-school teachers and students.