We have begun a series of initiatives for K-12 students and teachers that are focused on increasing public awareness of materials research.
The Brandeis MRSEC and WHS present: Science Pizza Talks
Once a month, Brandeis scientists from diverse backgrounds travel to Waltham High School to share their unique personal journeys into science careers at while high school students ask questions and enjoy free pizza.
What Teachers Say About the Series: "Waltham High School is beginning our third year of monthly Science Pizza Talks. This opportunity has been an amazing collaboration with Brandeis University to bring in scientists from a variety of fields to talk with high school students about their path into science and their current research. We hold these monthly Science Pizza Talks during student lunches, so as not to disrupt any classes and to open this opportunity up to all students. The talks are attended by both motivated students already on the track to college, and by students still deciding what to do after high school. The scientists that participate come from diverse backgrounds with varying paths into science. Past presenters have discussed their immigration into the United States and the difficulty of learning the language and culture while trying to excel in school. Other presenters have discussed their mediocre grades and disinterest in high school, and their unconventional path into graduate school and science research. Many students connect and relate to the scientists’ experiences and they leave these talks inspired to pursue their dreams. On a number of occasions, the scientists have shared their contact information and a few students have corresponded with the scientists about career paths and questions about college and beyond. I consistently get feedback from my students about how much they enjoyed hearing about the scientists’ life stories, their interesting research, and how “normal” and “cool” these scientists are. The Science Pizza Talks have given students a realistic idea of who a scientist is and sparked an interest to pursue a similar path. These talks have been very successful at Waltham High School and I am excited to continue this experience for a new group of students."
Heather Metallides, Waltham Public Schools Science Director: "For the past two years, Waltham High School has partnered with The Brandeis MRSEC to present Science Pizza Talks. These talks are delivered once a month to a diverse group of Waltham High School Students. Brandeis scientists from diverse backgrounds discuss their own experience in science to date while students ask questions and enjoy free pizza during their lunch period. This monthly lecture is well attended by students and staff and it generates a level of discussion regarding careers in science that may not have happened otherwise. The Brandeis Scientists are engaging, relate to and inspire students of diverse backgrounds. Many scientists have made connections with students and staff beyond the Pizza Talk and discussions take place long after the talk is over...I strongly believe that these talks have made a positive impact on the students that have had exposure to scientists of diverse backgrounds. These talks are not disruptive to the academic day as they are during lunchtime."
Brandeis Scientists in the Classroom Workshop
The Brandeis MRSEC is bringing the exciting world of materials research to Waltham Middle and High School students through our Brandeis Scientists in the Classroom Workshop. Science teachers from Waltham Middle and High Schools participate in a professional development workshop on incorporating visiting scientists into a classroom lesson. During the full-day workshop, teachers interact with scientists eager to come into their classroom.
Field Trips to Brandeis Science Laboratories
The Brandeis MRSEC welcomes middle and high school classes to campus for laboratory tours and hands-on science activities.