2015 Grant Awards

MRS University Chapter Special Project Awards

Drexel/Duke Universities
Graduate Student Seminar Exchange Program

Rutgers University
Rutgers Energy Innovation Contest

South Dakota State University
MRS SDSU Chapter Lecture Series

Stanford University
Science Communication Workshop

Stevens Institute of Technology
Education and Outreach with GE Global

Tel Aviv University
Outreach/Scientific Presentations to Academic Schools and Public Presentation

University of Connecticut
MRS Chapter Seminars and Industry Trips

University of Kentucky (collaboration with University of Cologne)
Post-MRS Meet and Greet: Cologne@Kentucky

University of Vermont
Materials Science Research Symposia 

Grassroots Grant Recipients

Polycraft: Educational Innovation through Gaming
University of Texas at Dallas

  • This project seeks to educate students about polymer chemistry and materials science using live demos and a modified version (modded) of the game Minecraft; especially effective for students who learn kinesthetically.
  • It combines real-life demonstrations of processes, such as 3D printing and extruding, with a video game that includes similar processes to give students another form of hands-on interaction long after the demos are over.
  • It is anticipated that this project will not just reach the hundreds who see the demos, but also hundreds and hundreds more who will have access to the game, including parents and siblings.
In this MRS TV interview from the 2015 MRS Fall Meeting, Shelby Parker and Walter Voit of the University of Texas at Dallas discuss Polycraft: Educational Innovation through Gaming.

Would You Agree to Have Perovskite-based Photovoltaic Cells
Weizmann Institute of Science

  • Outreach to the Arabic community in Israel:  A module on sustainable energy (perovskite-based solar cells) to engage high-school students in a contemporary research project and for use by Arabic teachers in Israeli high schools
  • All materials will be adapted to the Arabic school culture and translated into the Arabic language.
  • The module integrates contemporary research and an innovative topic (the development of perovskite-based photovoltaic cells) with the notion of responsible research innovation, and is aimed at raising the awareness of Arabic students of the interactions between science and society and encouraging them to choose STEM careers.

Materials Touch
Rice University

  • This project will enable visually disabled children and adults to experience materials science in a safe learning environment specifically designed for their needs.
  • The focus will be on basic materials and physical properties that can be safely explored tactilely, such as polymerization, heat conductivity, brittleness, etc.
  • By providing real-world scientific education to this specific under-served population, the goal is to generate a materials-aware population and a diverse workforce.

Ask a Scientist
Ask a Scientist Corporation

  • Submitted and driven by students, this project consists of outreach events at three University Chapters, and then at public events (street festival, farmer’s market, etc.) with a volunteer “scientist booth” where student volunteers can answer scientific questions and engage those passing by in fun scientific demonstrations.
  • The goal is to utilize modern technology (i.e. smartphones, internet) to illustrate that the ability to perform a critical search and analysis of internet content is a vital skill to future generations.
  • Answering questions from the public will make science more exciting and approachable – one community at a time.

Mucus, It's Snot What You Think—The Video
Kungliga Tekniska Hogskolan (KTH)

  • This is an informational video about the amazing properties of mucus, a unique biomaterial.
  • The group has already produced an infographic but this will expand the audience with a video animation.
  • This could be the first of a series of videos demonstrating the world of materials composing our body (properties of hair, teeth, extracellular matrix, synovial fluids).

Hagamos con-Ciencia (Let's make Conscience/with Science)
Cinvestav-Saltillo

  • With half of Mexico’s population living in poverty, this project hopes to help break the poverty cycle by exposing under-privileged children to the excitement of science and technology.
  • The grant will enable one year of continuous outreach to students in 5th and 6th grades in rural and/or impoverished areas to raise their interest in science, to support their education through revision of their science subjects, and to show the importance of materials science in their lives.
  • The project is a continuation of the outreach event called Cinvesniños-Saltillo, where children can visit the Research Centre to learn what they do there, how they do it and why is important for everyone. In addition, the group will participate in a science fair organized by the Mexican Astronomy Society where they will present similar experiments but for the general public. 
The Materials Research Society Foundation operates as a program of the Materials Research Society. The official registration and financial information of the Materials Research Society Foundation may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

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