University of Wisconsin–Madison
volunteer

The UW MRSEC motto is "everyone participates.” Scroll down to learn why.

Volunteer Opportunities

Everyone Participates
The UW MRSEC has established the culture that “everyone participates” when it comes to educating the general public about the wonders of materials science. Every graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, staff, and faculty member assists in the development and dissemination of engaging, hands-on content inspired by their own research. Listed below you’ll find upcoming outreach opportunities that MRSEC members are encouraged to take part in.

For more information on any activity, or to sign up for an event, please email Anne Lynn Gillian-Daniel at agillian@wisc.edu.

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Engineering Expo – April 6-7, 2018
Engineering Expo occurs every April on the Engineering Campus of the UW-Madison. The MRSEC has an enormous presence at the event, running at least 10 activities for the general public. This is a great opportunity to teach many people about some of the amazing research going on in the MRSEC, and to implement some of the ideas and activities we discussed at the BREW. The sign up for EExpo 2018 will open in January 2018 – please check back to volunteer.

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Teen Science Cafés (formerly Snacks with Scientists)
Teen Science Cafes are an activity-centered program for creating informal, authentic connections between scientists and students in the community. It is offered to middle and high school participants and focuses on activities that facilitate constructive conversation about being a scientist and using scientific thinking. More information can be found at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1S3c8AuXEJ5IN5kTkq1LN1P8YGrzrmrOfbmah2WQfG7I/edit?usp=sharing

If you would like to volunteer as a Teen Science Café presenter, please e-mail Anne Lynn at agillian@wisc.edu.

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Wisconsin Science Festival 2018
Join us for the 2018 Wisconsin Science Festival, October 11-14, by participating in the Discovery Expo! The four-day festival held in Madison and across WI connects people with science, engineering, technology, art and math and provides opportunities for you to reach new audiences, create community connections, and celebrate sciences in Wisconsin. The Discovery Expo is held at the Discovery Building on campus all four days of the festival.  It is a great place to showcase your work to the K-12 students on field trips as well as the general public. To be involved in the Discovery Expo, all you need is a willingness to share your science at a hands-on exploration station.

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Lead a Field Trip at Discovery
The Town Center at the Discovery Building is an exceptional destination for scientific exploration. They offer several field trip workshops for students in elementary, middle and high school. Field Trips take place in the Town Center in state-of-the-art teaching labs located on the research floors of the Discovery Building and staffed with scientists committed to bringing cutting-edge science experiences to students of all ages. Field trips generally are offered Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during the fall and spring semesters and consist of two 75-minute workshops in a lab setting. Groups are split into two smaller groups, which complete the workshops simultaneously and then switch labs to complete the second activity. Most workshops are limited to 25 students per activity with groups rotating through activities. If interested, contact Matthew Stilwell at mstilwell@wisc.edu.

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Host an RET Participant
The Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program lasts from the middle of June until the end of August, and involves a middle or high school teacher working with a graduate student to translate the research being done in your lab into an educational module for the classroom. This program works well as a mentoring opportunity for your graduate students, and also results in a research-inspired hands-on module to communicate your work to the general public and the next generation of material scientists. Contact Matthew Stilwell at mstilwell@wisc.edu for more information!