Hands-on Science Labs Inspire
Native American High School Students

Above: Native American high school students showcase their Science & Cooking creations.

The Harvard MRSEC hosted three afternoons of materials science, hands-on activities for Native American students in partnership with a 3-week program hosted by the Harvard Medical School. This program introduced Native American students to high-tech 3D printing, and every day materials science that is tied to Native foods. The 18 students in the program, from the Navajo, Hopi, and Fort Peck communities, explored the elasticity of corn tortillas, and solubility of capsaicin in oil vs. water during the two-day Science and Cooking lab. The third afternoon was dedicated to learning about 3D printing from the Lewis lab.

Above: Native American high school students with graduate students Vayu Maini Reikdal (center, back row) and Kevin Tian (left), from the Vlassak group, during the Science and Cooking lab.

These labs help the students understand that what they can do with 3D printing, and that science and engineering, in general, is limited only by their own imaginations. The program is designed to showcase Center discoveries so these students can see the possibilities available through STEM and how these lessons can be applied to their everyday lives.

Jennifer Lewis (BioEng & MatSci),
Michael Brenner (AppMath), and
Kathryn Hollar (Education)
Harvard MRSEC (DMR-1420570)