SPECIAL COURSES & WORKSHOPS
MRSEC continued its successful Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program and supported 11 undergraduate research participants. Recruitment of undergraduates from the nearby women's colleges, Mount Holyoke and Smith College, and through the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) Science/Engineering Academic Support Network for Black, Hispanic and Native American Students continues. The outreach programs with Howard University and the University of Puerto Rico also serve as a source of REU participants. In the upcoming summer, the REU program is 200% oversubscribed. Supplemental funding for two students has been obtained to alleviate the over subscription. Positions for four other applicants have been found in polymer activities related to the Center. Consequently, the Center's REU effort has increased more than 60%. The Center has recently obtained supplemental funding to support a Research Experience for Teachers program in the upcoming summer. Four high school teachers will participate in research at the Center under the guidance of a Center researcher. While the RET program will be used to provide these teachers with research experience, this opportunity will also be used to develop teaching modules based on research that can be used in the Center's distance learning effort.
The Center initiated a distance learning program during the past year in conjunction with the Education Department at the University. As a result of a funding supplement, the Center was able to provide Boston Latin Academy with equipment necessary to participate in the program. With four teachers at BLA modules based on polymers are being developed to integrate into their curriculum. These modules will be intensively developed and tested this summer in the Research Experience for Teachers program. Faculty at the Center will lecture from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and be telecast to the classroom at Boston Latin Academy and other high schools in Massachusetts.
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