PCCM Education is led by Education Director Daniel Steinberg, a PhD. scientist who has dedicated his career to improving science education and exciting people about science and engineering. He has more than 10 years of experience in the field of science education.
Sergio Aclo assists the Education Director in coordinating the various programs PCCM Education offers. He previously taught second grade as a Teach for America corps member, earned a M.Ed. and J.D. from Penn State, and is presently a graduate student at Villanova University.
The Princeton Center for Complex Materials Education Outreach office is part of the larger Princeton Center for Complex Materials (PCCM). PCCM is a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) funded by the National Science Foundation. PCCM is under the umbrella of the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM) of Princeton University.
Education Outreach Programs
Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials
During the summer of 2012, PCCM and PRISM will deliver a full spectrum of materials science education programs from elementary school through graduate level condensed matter physics. In partnership with the national Gear Up and Upward Bound programs, the Princeton University Materials Academy is designed to help narrow the achievement gap in science, technology, engineering and math by providing full immersion in materials science education and research. Fourteen students will spend 4 weeks studying and researching a sustainable living from a materials science perspective. In partnership with Community House, 12 middle school students will spend two weeks learning materials science in August. In addition, we will host our annual Research Experience for Undergraduates, which provides research internships to undergraduates from institutions outside of Princeton University. There are also over 30 research participants comprised of both teachers and high school students, who will spend most of their summer in Princeton’s materials science labs working with PRISM and PCCM mentors and research groups. Lastly, a new two-day materials minicamp for middle and high school teachers will take place August 9-10 (see below for further details).
Princeton Center for Complex Materials
Contact: Dan Steinberg, (609) 258-5598; firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is a sampling of programs for which we serve as the lead or co-lead organization.
1. Kids at College – May 29
In partnership with Cotsen Children’s Library, PCCM welcomed 100 fourth grade students, receiving tours of PRISM labs, and learning about Nanoscience and literature (from Cotsen Library).
2. Research Experience for Undergraduates, June 11-Aug. 10
Eighteen 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.
3. 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 (PRISM) 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.
4. PCCM / ACS SEED Research Experience for High School Students, July-August
Two students, both of whom previously participated in the Princeton University Materials Academy science and engineering summer program, will work with Professor 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. Previous students from this program have been accepted at universities to major in STEM fields. The students in this program start in PUMA and advance through research experience in SEED.
5. Research Experience for Teachers (RET), June-August
Two teachers from New Jersey and Pennsylvania 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.
6. Princeton University Materials Academy, July 2-26
Sixteen high school students from Trenton will be on campus to interact with Princeton faculty and students and learn about materials science, Nanoscience, clean energy research and sustainable homes. Among past projects, the students will work on ceramic water filters that could improve the quality of life and environmental conditions in parts of Africa.
7. Princeton University Materials Academy for Middle School, July 30 – August 10
Twelve middle school students will participate in a program that focuses on materials science. The program is dedicated to narrowing the academic achievement gap across racial and ethnic groups, and is supported by the National Science Foundation through the Princeton Center for Complex Materials and the University's Community House service organization.
8. Princeton University Materials Academy (PUMA) - Middlesex, July 23-26
Sixteen students from Middlesex High School in New Jersey will receive engaging tours both at University and area laboratories. This exposure to 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.
9. Summer School for Condensed Matter Physics, July 23 - 26, 2012
About 75 students from around the world (mostly graduate) will come to Princeton to attend lectures and workshops in physics and materials science led by prominent researchers from Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Penn State and other institutions. The school is pedagogical in aim; the lectures will be accessible to all graduate students in science. The broad themes of this year’s school are criticality and quantum computation. The program is organized by Princeton graduate students and sponsored by the Princeton Center for Complex Materials and the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science.
10. Materials Science Module Training for Teachers – August 9-10
Sixteen teachers will learn to incorporate into their curricula two Materials World Modules developed at Northwestern University. Teachers will receive lectures from PRISM faculty, receive hands-on module training, and get tours of Princeton labs and facilities.
Fall 2012 and Spring 2013
1. Materials Science Day
Each Fall 500 middle school students come to campus to meet materials scientists and engineers, and to learn about how materials science and technology impacts their lives.
Each December, PCCM hosts the Holiday Lecture with Howard Stone and Bonnie Bassler. The Lecture is geared toward young children and their families. In 2011, over 600 people attended the Lecture in Princeton University’s McDonnell Hall. This year's lecture is on Light and Color.
3. Nanoday in Princeton
Each spring, in partnership with the NSF funded NISENet and the Princeton Public Library, materials scientists from PCCM interact with the public, conducting engaging hands-on activities at the Princeton Public Library. Approximately 500 people attended the 2012 event.
In addition to these programs, we participate in the Science and Engineering Expo at Princeton University for middle school students; the NJ Science and Engineering Expo in; Princyclopedia; the Young Women’s Conference; and National Chemistry Week.