| The Center actively promotes
interdisciplinary education in materials as well as research. The dedication
and leadership of the faculty underscore our commitment to help pre-college
students discover the excitement of scientific inquiry, develop new methods
of teaching science and assist teachers, provide undergraduates with their
first taste of real research, and prove the value of interdisciplinary
teamwork to the nation's future materials scientists and engineers.
- Pre-College Activities
Center faculty participate in Project TEACH (The Educational Activities
of Cambridge-Harvard). Coordinated with the Cambridge Public Schools,
the purpose of the program is to interest students early in college.
Each seventh-grade class from the Cambridge Public Schools spends
a day at Harvard where they receive information about college admission,
meet with former Cambridge students new in college, learn first-hand
about undergraduate life, and are exposed to critical thinking drawn
from familiar examples in science and engineering by MRSEC faculty.
The TEACH program conducted with assistance from an early awareness
coordinator and a team of undergraduates supported with funds from
- Outreach to Teachers and Research
Experience for Teachers (RET)
- Graduate Activities
A popular and successful innovation of the Center is an academic course
entitled Materials Chemistry and Physics. Designed in 1994
by Ehrenreich (MRSEC Chairman at the time), this integrated
survey course is for graduate students with undergraduate concentrations
in chemistry, engineering, or physics. During the 2000 spring semester
sixteen faculty from the Center covered four topics: Soft Condensed
Matter, Micromechanical Systems, Biological Systems, and Nanostructures.
E. Kaxiras was the course head and M. J. Aziz, F. Spaepen,
and H. A. Stone served as coordinators. This course is taught
every other spring semester.
Many graduate and undergraduate courses make use of the Shared Experimental
Facilities including the courses Engineering Design Projects, Introduction
to the Mechanics of Solids, Advanced Laboratory in Applied Physics,
and Experimental Physical Chemistry. MRSEC faculty and technical staff
provide short courses on experimental techniques such as Rutherford
backscattering/ion beam analysis and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.
In the spring of 2001 a short course is planned on electron microscopy
by our senior staff scientist MoberlyChan.