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Educational Outreach Highlight

MIT MRSEC workshop inspires middle school teaching

O’Maley School science teachers Roger Davis (top, in red shirt) and Caitlin Sumner (bottom, holding motor) building motors at MIT.

Two middle school science teachers (Roger Davis and Caitlin Sumner) from the O’Maley Middle School in Gloucester, MA, participated in the Science Teacher Enrichment Program (STEP) at MIT’s Center for Materials Science and Engineering. In this professional development workshop, participants learned about the engineering design process firsthand by designing and building motors. After attending the program, Mr. Davis returned to his school and developed a classroom project titled “Electro-Magnets and Electric Motors in the Context of Geology.” He and Ms. Sumner then trained a third science teacher at the school, and together they implemented this new educational unit with all 260 sixth graders in the Gloucester school system. Mr. Davis is now finalizing a kit of motor parts to enable the students to build a variety of motor designs and test several variables in phase two of the project. This demonstrates the significant impact that MRSEC educational outreach programs can make in the community.

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