Students from Cambridge’s Putnam Avenue Upper School got a taste of materials science, from glassblowing and making simple motors to making liquid nitrogen ice cream, at MIT this summer.
The Materials Research Laboratory’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) hosted 15 students and their science teacher, Fatima Sammy, for a week of hands-on science and engineering projects.
The curriculum also included metal casting, building solar cells, designing objects with fused glass, exploring ultraviolet light, polymer demonstrations, and constructing electric circuits, as well as participating in the “Fish Game,” a mobile-device-enabled game designed to build students’ understanding of complex systems.
Classes are taught by MIT staff, technical instructors, graduate students, and undergraduates. Students were on campus from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. each day.
Basic objectives of the program are to demonstrate to young adolescents that science and engineering is fun, introduce them to the field of materials science, and have them experience science and engineering on a college campus.
The 2019 middle school program was the 28th summer the MIT MRSEC has offered a science and engineering program for students from a Cambridge, Massachusetts, middle school. Over the course of those years, the MRSEC has worked with a variety of Cambridge middle schools and reached approximately 400 students.