The 2019 Breakthrough Research and Education Workshop (BREW) was held on Friday, November 8th. It was well attended with over 50 faculty, graduate students, postdocs, and staff devoting their afternoon to the annual event.
The first half of the event was an opportunity for researchers from across the center to share their current work with the rest of the group. Dr. Voyles opened the workshop with an overview of the MRSEC. Then, representatives from each Interdisciplinary Research Group and two of the new Seeds shared updates on their groups’ current research.
For the Education Workshop portion of the event, attendees were asked to evaluate, refine, extend, and hack three outreach activities that are currently under development in the MRSEC. First, MRSEC members engaged with an activity using screen printing as a model for lithography, one that demonstrated the difference between solid and crystalline forms of a material and why the different forms are important in pharmaceuticals, and finally a new activity about polymers that shrink rather than expand when heated.
Researchers provided valuable feedback on all three activities that will enable the education group to improve their scientific accuracy and visitor engagement.
After getting a chance to explore the activities, attendees broke into three groups (one for each activity) to brainstorm ways the activities could be extended and hacked. All the information from the workshop was gathered in both written and video forms that the education group is using to further develop the three outreach activities.