The MRL MRSEC sponsors involvement in materials science and engineering for middle, junior high, and high school teachers through two main outreach programs:
Both programs focus on strategies for transferring the teachers' research experience to the classroom.
In addition, MRL MRSEC occasionally offers special hands-on teacher workshops that address state education standards.
The MRL MRSEC offers middle and high school science teachers an exciting opportunity to participate in cutting-edge materials research at MIT and design classroom material based on that research. Each teacher is matched with an MRL MRSEC faculty member and his or her team of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to carry out seven weeks of research in a laboratory on campus. In addition, they learn to operate the state-of-the-art equipment in the Center's Shared Experimental Facilities and how that equipment is applied to current research problems.
An important objective of the program is the transfer of the teachers’ research experience to their classrooms. To accomplish this, program participants meet weekly with MRL MRSEC faculty and staff to discuss their progress and to collectively consider ways in which they can communicate the science concepts and research processes used in the laboratory to their students.
After completing the first summer, the teachers are encouraged to return to MRL MRSEC for a second summer dedicated to continued research and/or developing lesson plans and teaching units for use in their classrooms. To achieve the broadest possible impact, RET participants share the modules they develop with other science educators by publishing in educational journals, presenting at professional meetings and training colleagues at workshops.
Please note that only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to participate in this program.