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PRISM/PCCM/MIRTHE Outreach Programs Encourage Summer Learning at Princeton

Students of all ages and teachers from New Jersey and beyond will be engaged in a summer of learning on the Princeton campus, taking part in outreach programs on subjects ranging from condensed matter physics to complex materials to mid-infrared technologies for health and the environment (MIRTHE). Princeton students, faculty and staff will lead various programs designed to help elementary, secondary and college students build their academic skills and provide cutting-edge lessons that teachers can take back to their own classrooms.

Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials
Princeton Center for Complex Materials
Contact: Dan Steinberg, (609) 258-5598,
PCCM/Leadership Development Institute, May-August
The Princeton Center for Complex Materials, in partnership with the Washington, D.C.-based Quality Education for Minorities Network, is hosting three young faculty from historically black colleges and universities through the Leadership Development Institute funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The goal of the project is to enhance the leadership and research capabilities of science, technology, engineering and math junior faculty at these institutions and to build a community of emerging leaders in these fields at historically black institutions. Princeton professors Winston Soboyejo, Robert Prud’homme and Mikko Haataja are hosting the guest researchers in their labs and collaborating on cutting-edge materials science research.

Research Experience for Undergraduates, June 7-Aug. 6
About 28 college students from around the country will conduct research in the labs of Princeton faculty members, working on cutting-edge problems related to energy production, the environment, human health and other societal issues. Their work will be funded primarily by the National Science Foundation through major projects, including the Princeton Center for Complex Materials and NSF's Partnership for Research and Education in Materials.

Partners in Science, June-August
In collaboration with the Jersey City-based Liberty Science Center, faculty members and graduate students in the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials will serve as mentors to high school students working as researchers in their labs. The program will culminate in a symposium during which the students will present their work.

PCCM/ACS-SEED Research Experience for High School Students, June-August
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Rodney Priestley will mentor two high school students in summer research in chemistry. The students, both of whom previously participated in the Princeton University Materials Academy science and engineering summer program, will work with Priestley on cutting-edge materials science and chemistry-related polymer research projects. The program is funded by the National Science Foundation through the Princeton Center for Complex Materials and the American Chemical Society SEED project.

Research Experience for Teachers
, June-August
Two teachers from New Jersey high schools will work in the labs of Princeton researchers to gain insight into current research. They will study new materials for alternative energy and ways to enhance materials science and engineering education in K-12 schools. In the next academic year, they will share their experiences, incorporating these concepts into their curricula.

Princeton University Materials Academy
, July 6-23
Twenty high school students from Trenton will be on campus to interact with Princeton faculty and students and learn about materials science and solar energy research. Among other projects, the students will work on ceramic water filters that could improve the quality of life and environmental conditions in parts of Africa.

Princeton University Materials Academy for Middle School, July 19-30
Twelve middle school students will participate in a program that focuses on materials science and energy sustainability. The program is dedicated to narrowing the academic achievement gap across racial and ethnic groups and is supported by the National Science Foundation -- through Princeton's Center for Complex Materials -- and the University's Community House service organization.

Summer Program for High School Students, July 26-30
About 20 students from Middlesex High School in New Jersey will spend mornings on campus, visiting labs, hearing talks and participating in hands-on projects. Their work on materials science will serve as an introduction to a yearlong materials science and engineering course taught at their school. The program is organized by the Princeton Center for Complex Materials.

Summer School for Condensed Matter Physics, Aug. 2-5
About 75 students, mostly graduate students, from around the world will come to Princeton to attend lectures and workshops in physics and materials science led by prominent researchers from Princeton, Brookhaven National Labs, Alcatel-Lucent and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The program is organized by Princeton graduate students and sponsored by the Princeton Center for Complex Materials and the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science.

Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment (MIRTHE)
Contact: Roxanne Zellin, (609) 258-7922,
Summer Research Opportunities, June-August
The Engineering Research Center for Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment (MIRTHE) will host about 40 undergraduate students at Princeton and its five partner institutions for nine weeks of research and education. The students will participate in original, hands-on research projects and attend short courses and lectures that explore the challenges of hardware, software and systems engineering of trace chemical sensors. The center's research could yield important new technology related to health, homeland security and especially the environment. Students also visit nearby government and industrial labs. The undergraduate students hail from about 20 colleges and universities across the nation, including Princeton.

In addition to the college students, more than 10 high school students will work in MIRTHE labs at Princeton and other universities, as well as five high school teachers.

The participating MIRTHE institutions are Princeton University, Rice University, City College of New York, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Texas A&M University and Johns Hopkins University. The students at the sites in Maryland, Texas, New York and Princeton will meet with the entire MIRTHE community in the final week for the annual MIRTHE Summer Workshop. The workshop will take place Aug. 1-6 at Rice University in Houston, with a visit to Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.