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Educational Outreach Highlight

MIT MRSEC partners with Puerto Rican university to strengthen student research skills and increase precollege recruitment

Jonathan Vargas Rodriguez working in MIT labs

Emanuel Hernández, with Dr. Juan Arratia of UMET, at the 2009 SACNAS Conference holding the award for his poster on MIT REU research

MIT’s Center for Materials Science and Engineering (CMSE) partnered with the Universidad Metropolitana in San Juan to provide research opportunities to undergraduates from universities in Puerto Rico and to attract local high school students to science and engineering careers. Under this collaboration, two undergraduates participate in the REU program at CMSE each summer. In addition, two students from the Universidad del Turabo spent an intensive two weeks at the MRSEC last summer working with MIT graduate student mentors on nanotechnology research. To do this, the undergraduates were trained to use state-of-the-art equipment in the Center’s Shared Experimental Facilities. The undergraduates and their graduate student mentors reunited at a workshop at UMET in December, where all four of them presented their research on nanomedicine and nanoelectronics to local undergraduates, high school students and teachers. This partnership provides the Puerto Rican undergraduates with opportunities do research at MIT and hone their presentation skills, while contributing to UMET’s outreach to local precollege students.

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