Programs & Outreach

Experience the Power of Materials for a Sustainable World—The Stuff That Matters

  Materials Research Society FoundationMRS seeks funding to create globally-relevant exhibitions focused on materials science and sustainability, currently called Strange Matter Green Earth (SMGE).

MRS has established a network of materials researchers, exhibit designers and science educators across three continents dedicated to working collaboratively to develop three versions of a traveling materials science exhibition that will simultaneously tour North America, Europe and Latin America.
The exhibitions will be designed to engage, educate and spark empowering dialogue between museum audiences and the general public worldwide about sustainable solutions to meeting long-term human needs. They will also demonstrate that materials use and development are intrinsically connected to sustainability.

Ruby Level Sponsor
Companhia Brasileira de Matalurgia e Mineracao

Science Center NEMO, Amsterdam
Science Center NEMO, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The highly-interactive exhibitions and associated STEM community initiatives and programs (the latter created by teams of informal science educators and materials scientists and engineers) will invite multicultural audiences to:

  • Discover that new materials enable new technologies
  • Understand that worldwide materials research can address sustainability challenges
  • Recognize how sustainability is a cross-cultural, global and local concern
  • Realize the sustainability implications of their own use of materials
  • Appreciate the inextricable relationship between earth’s natural and societal systems
  • Further explore the co-evolution of materials and humankind, especially with regard to the ways in which new materials are being engineered to help people meet their needs in a sustainable manner

SMGE will not only provide a novel platform from which to catalyze international collaborations between scientists and educators, but it will also provide fertile ground for a professional research study by a highly-regarded practitioner of social network analysis. The researcher will examine and measure the international network’s social dynamics throughout the course of the project and impart gained assessments throughout the project to help guide the efficacy of shared purpose.

Such research and evaluation of SMGE will provide lessons-learned knowledge about skills in building sustainable international networks that will be applicable across many disciplines in education and business communities.

MRS’s past experience with Strange Matter illuminated the power of a traveling science center exhibition. SMGE seeks to expand upon this exhibition paradigm to create a new international collaborative— one that nucleates local researcher/educator partnerships to educate students and the general public about a global issue while espousing “glocalism” that incorporates and highlights regional resources, local cultures and formal and informal educational networks.

Expanding to an international scale on both the research and educational fronts will cultivate new interactions, create new synergies and foster new learning about how scientists and educators can work together for research purposes and communicate the international nature of today’s scientific endeavors to diverse audiences.