Materials Research Science and Engineering Center
Educational Outreach Overview

The MRSEC Center actively promotes interdisciplinary education, and research in materials science and engineering. MRSEC participants are actively involved in programs that engage the public, teachers, students, and young scientists and engineers in the excitement of scientific discovery, which increases awareness of the impact of scientific research on their daily lives. The Center's goals are to increase public engagement in and awareness of advances in materials science and engineering, and to promote career advancement for a diverse group of scientists who represent the future of materials science. The educational initiatives at the pre-college, undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels include embedded diversity initiatives, and strategic collaborations whenever possible to encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to pursue careers in science and engineering.

Public Engagement:
We strive to increase scientific and engineering literacy, and to promote awareness of career opportunities in materials science and engineering. These activities, which highlight ongoing research of the MRSEC at Harvard, include:

Pre-College Activities — Elementary and Middle School Activities
We have developed several partnerships that engage a diverse group of K-12 students and teachers in our local community in the research and educational activities of the MRSEC. These include:

REU — The MRSEC directly supports 6 REUs per year. Through a combination of MRSEC support together with the REU Site award, other NSF grants, and Harvard funding, MRSEC faculty members mentored over 39 students through the REU program in 2017. The REU/RET Site, which funds 9-10 students per summer, is linked very closely to the MRSEC, and focuses on giving undergraduates who have had little or no previous research experience opportunities at Harvard. The MRSEC leads a military veteran recruitment program, and hosts veterans each summer. Students supported by the MRSEC and REU/RET Site were part of a larger group of 86 students who participated in a full series of professional development activities.

MRSEC faculty, students, and staff recruit at the following conferences for REU, graduate, postdoctoral positions. Please look for us at the Harvard SEAS or Physics table.

Education and Career Development in the Research Community:
These activities provide opportunities for Center participants to develop pedagogical, research, and career development skills.