MCS engages and inspires future scientists
The Mellon College of Science has a long-standing commitment to bringing the excitement of science to K-12 students and to supporting teachers in our region in their pursuit of educational excellence. The programs led by MCS faculty, listed below, vary from shows for science assemblies and projects for middle school students to summer program opportunities where undergraduates can try out the graduate experience.
DNAZone is an outreach program for 4th–12th grade students organized by the members of the Center for Nucleic Acids Science and Technology (CNAST). The program began its activities in 2009 and is intended to improve student engagement, attitudes and beliefs towards science. The students that participate in DNAZone learn to appreciate the value of collaboration and interdisciplinarity in research.
The Carnegie Mellon University Physics Concepts Outreach Program brings children from the Pittsburgh Public Schools to Carnegie Mellon to meet with undergraduate mentors. The program’s two main goals are to teach the students some of the fundamental physics concepts that underlie much of science and technology, and to provide them with hands-on experience and role models to help build their confidence. Prof. Leonard Kisslinger was recognized with Carnegie Mellon’s Mark Gelfand Award for Educational Outreach for his long-standing work leading this program.
TutorNet is a volunteer organization at Carnegie Mellon University committed to providing sustained educational support to Pittsburgh schools through a combination of classroom and on-line tutoring. TutorNet, which was established by Prof. Newell Washburn in 2006, is designed to help Pittsburgh students learn about and be excited by science, and the program relies on the enthusiasm and commitment to volunteerism of the Carnegie Mellon students as well as the dedication of the Pittsburgh school teachers.
NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)
The Department of Biological Sciences operates a summer research experience program in the Cellular and Molecular Biosciences for students from undergraduate institutions without extensive research programs and those from groups underrepresented in the sciences. The 10-week residential program provides intensive, mentored research experiences.
Summer Undergraduate Applied Mathematics Institute
Supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency, the Center for Nonlinear Analysis provides training for students interested in mathematical science research through the Summer Undergraduate Applied Mathematics Institute. The students spend seven weeks in Pittsburgh participating in a course in real analysis and a computer laboratory, and working on projects under the direction of research faculty. Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply.
Summer Undergraduate Research Program
With funding from the National Science Foundation and other sources, the Department of Biological Sciences offers their Summer Undergraduate Research Program, an intensive research experience, to students from small colleges and universities that do not have extensive research opportunities. In addition, Carnegie Mellon students can participate in the program through a grant from the Undergraduate Science Education Program of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).