Princeton University

Princeton Weekly Bulletin   June 4, 2007, Vol. 96, No. 28   prev   next   current

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  • Editor: Ruth Stevens

    Calendar editor: Shani Hilton

    Staff writers: Jennifer Greenstein Altmann, Eric Quiñones

    Contributing writers: Chad Boutin, Hilary Parker

    Photographers: Denise Applewhite, John Jameson

    Design: Maggie Westergaard

    Web edition: Mahlon Lovett

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By the numbers

Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials

The Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM), a multidisciplinary research center, engages in an active educational outreach effort for K-12 students, undergraduates from other universities, teachers and the general public.

Led by Daniel Steinberg, the institute’s educational outreach director, the program aims to increase knowledge of materials science by hosting and sponsoring events and programs throughout the year as well as partnering with educational groups. The outreach also connects people from outside Princeton with fast-paced research at two National Science Foundation-funded centers based at the University — the Princeton Center for Complex Materials and the Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment Center.

• Over the last 11 years, more than 200 undergraduates from colleges and universities throughout the nation have participated in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at Princeton, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. Since its establishment, applications to Princeton’s REU program have increased nearly 10-fold. Each year, about 20 faculty members from seven departments, including the engineering disciplines, physics and molecular biology, host students in their labs.

• This year, 34 REU students were selected from 310 applicants to participate in the nine-week program. Many of the students attend colleges without extensive research facilities, and this is their first opportunity to carry out research at the forefront of materials science and engineering.

• The Princeton University Materials Academy is committed to improving the science education of under-represented high school students in the Trenton, Middlesex, Lawrence and Ewing public school districts. Each summer, the program brings high school students to the Princeton labs for two- to three-week programs to teach them about science and engineering. This summer, about 45 materials academy students will be on campus over the course of four weeks.

• Steinberg recently was awarded a mini-grant from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken to teach engineering through materials science to educators in a series of one-day workshops. He expects to train 60 teachers and 20 school administrators in the first year of the program. On May 11, he presented information on ways to teach engineering in middle and high schools using modules developed for the Princeton University Materials Academy to 250 school administrators in a conference at Stevens.

• This summer, 60 New Jersey teachers will attend Materials Camp, a program offered in collaboration with ASM, a materials science society. Thirty will be trained at Princeton, while 30 more will attend a partner camp at Rutgers University. This will bring to 120 the total number of teachers that have been trained since 2005 to incorporate materials science modules into their existing curricula. By the start of the 2007-08 academic year, the camp will have led to the creation of dedicated materials science programs in at least three public high schools.


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