Online Field Trips Bring Science to the State

For more than ten years, the Field Trip Program has brought students and teachers to Madison, Wis., for a day of activity and exploration. But when the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered on-campus activity, the Discovery Outreach Team had to get creative. This spring, more than 28 Field Trips will connect students statewide to researchers using an entirely online model. The post Online Field Trips bring science to the state appeared first on Morgridge Institute for Research. Read the full article at:

Communicating PhD Research to the Public Wins MRSEC Graduate Student WISL Award

Recent Materials Science and Engineering doctoral graduate, Sachin Muley, was awarded the Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy (WISL) Award for Communicating PhD Research to the Public. His thesis chapter, “Structure-property correlations in metallic glass and amorphous carbon films,” focuses on one of three themes of his PhD thesis, metallic glasses. Metallic glasses have many important uses today and in the near future as strong smart phone bodies, and as tough, slick coatings.

(2020) Energy Transfer Inside of a Topological Photonic Materials

The Wisconsin MRSEC has shown that molecules inside in a type of topological photonic material called a Weyl crystal can exchange energy over much larger distances. The intricate twisting structure of the material uses light to connect one molecule to others much farther away. Developing photonic Weyl crystals may contribute to more efficient LEDs and solar cells and improve molecular sensors.

(2020) Sparking Student Interest: Renewable Energy Devices in the Classroom

The Wisconsin MRSEC has developed a simple, inexpensive way for K-12 students to build a sustainable energy device using familiar, everyday materials including aluminum foil, a plastic egg, clear tape, and a bouncy ball. The device, called a triboelectric nanogenerator, converts the often-wasted energy of motion into useful electrical energy.

(2020) Solid-Phase Crystallization Produces Oxide Buffer Layers Lattice-Matched to Semiconductors

Engineers currently lack good substrate materials on which to grow thin films of materials like GaN with few defects. These layers are needed in applications like high-power transistors and solid-state lighting. Available bulk crystals have the wrong crystal structure or the wrong distance between the atoms. The Wisconsin MRSEC has developed a buffer layer material and related synthesis method that promises to alleviate the substrate problem.

(2020) Research Endeavors, Cross-Cultural Experiences, and Educational Activities

The Wisconsin MRSEC Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program is a cross-cultural collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez (UPRM). The RET program provides science teachers from Wisconsin and Puerto Rico an authentic research and cultural literacy professional development experience. The program culminates with an in-person capstone week where the RETs from both sites share the research-inspired classroom activities they have developed and learn from one another about teaching in a different cultural and geographic environment. The teachers learn about the area and culture that is unique to the site hosting the capstone.