Waltham Teachers Meet with Brandeis Scientists

Brandeis scientists & Waltham teachers

On Tuesday, November 7th, 32 science teachers from Waltham Public Middle and High Schools visited the Brandeis science labs as part of the Third Annual Brandeis Scientists in the Classroom Workshop. The workshop is designed to be an opportunity to connect middle and high school science teachers with Brandeis scientists. The teachers were grouped and matched with 14 Brandeis graduate students, postdocs and faculty who shared their Brandeis science research directly with the teachers to help them understand what we do, so they can better integrate science into their classroom lessons.

This event was an extension of an ongoing partnership between Brandeis and Waltham High School and was sponsored by the Brandeis MRSEC. The Waltham school district has a high percentage of students from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences. Brandeis offers several on-going programs with Waltham teachers and students in an effort to broaden their participation in STEM.

68th New England Complex Fluids Workshop, September 23, 2016

The 68th New England Complex Fluids Workshop will be held 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Friday, September 23, 2016 at the Shapiro Campus Center on Brandeis University. NECFW68 will feature two research talks, two soundbite sessions and one panel of scientists who are thriving after leaving academia for industry.

Online registration for the meeting is required, but thanks to the NSF Brandeis MRSEC, it is free. However, please register by 8 am, September 20 so we can order enough food for you.

NECFW‘s goal is to encourage collaboration among researchers from industry and academe in the New England area studying Soft Condensed Matter. We hold one day workshops four times a year which offer the opportunity for discussion and exchange of ideas between students, post-docs, and professionals. An additional objective is to further the career development of students and post-docs by introducing them to the local academic and industrial research community.

Please register at the complex fluids website: http://www.complexfluids.org. If you would like to present a 4:00 minute soundbite, submit your talk title and abstract when you register for the meeting. Soundbites are restricted to the first 25 submissions. Additional information such as maps, directions, schedule and a list of registered attendees is available at the website as well.

This year will feature an Industrial Panel to tell tales of life after academia. Entrepreneurs and industrial scientists will describe their pathway to creating companies, discuss which qualities they seek in applicants and answer the following questions. What kind of training and education do industrial labs seek in job applicants? What scientific and other knowledge should applicants possess? experience? skills? creativity? business knowledge? What should the universities do to better prepare students for a career in industry? What do the panel members wish they did differently in college to better prepare themselves for industry? What should students / postdocs be doing now to prepare for an industrial career? How can students find an internship? How should students build a network of contacts to help them find a job? How does research done in industry compare to that done in universities? What (if any) is the relevancy of research being done at universities to entrepreneurs, industrial scientists and managers?

Brandeis Science online tidbits

Science Club for Girls Event on April 25

Science Club for Girls is a Cambridge based organization which reaches out to Boston area communities with the goal of increasing the self-confidence and literacy in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) of K-12th grade girls belonging to groups that are underrepresented in these fields, through free programs that include hands-on learning, mentorship, and leadership opportunities. Girls work with mentor-scientists who model and foster leadership, affirm college as an expectation, and promote careers in science and technology as goals and options.  A group of dedicated undergraduates here at Brandeis have started a college chapter this year, and hope to begin hosting events for young girls in Waltham next year.  In the mean time, the club plans to host an event to bring together female faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates to socialize, get to know one another, and share their experiences as women in the scientific community here at Brandeis.  It should be a fun event, and there will be pizza!  Hope to see some of you there!
THURSDAY APRIL 25th 5:30-7:00 pm – Pizza with Professors – Shapiro Science Center First Floor Library: Have questions about classes, med/grad school, getting into labs at Brandeis, etc.? We will be hosting a great event where some Brandeis professors (like Dr. KC) and grad students will be available to talk about these and other questions that you might have. It will be a great way to mingle with some excellent Brandeis faculty and learn a bit more about your future at Brandeis and beyond!

P.S. – If you have any questions please contact us at brandeis@scienceclubforgirls.org

Yo Ho, Yo Ho! A Brandeis Science Pirate’s Life for Me

Ahoy mateys! Greetings from the Acton Discovery Museum.  With sponsorship by the Brandeis Materials Research and Engineering Center (MRSEC), Division of Sciences undergraduate and graduate students, post docs and faculty pirates took a journey down to the Discovery Museum and interacted with those visitors who dared board our ship on November 18th.

Our visitors ranged in age from pre-school to middle school, and all those who came to see us joined our cause and wore eye patches. These “new” pirates were given mini telescopes and museum maps to navigate how to get to the pirate stations across the high seas of the museum. Our visitors collaborated with their families to figure out which direction they were going in the museum using the compasses placed strategically (at visitor eye level) throughout the exhibits. When the new young science pirates found their way, some had to walk the plank with eyes open and closed, experiencing what it would like to be actually at sea. Afterwards, they learned how our ear physiology helps us keep our balance, especially when aboard a shaky vessel.

Others got to see how far they could throw objects and understand the projectile motion behind cannons on pirate ships and test object density with dry ice and balloons. Some young pirates tried to balance buried treasure coins in aluminum foil boats, and others tested their ability to make a variety of pirate-approved knots with rope. Of course, many our visitors discovered their favorite amino acid was ARGGGGG-inine. We can’t wait to return in the spring and teach more visitors at the upcoming “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Science” exhibit! For more information or to participate in our Discovery Museum events, please contact Melissa Kosinski-Collins (kosinski<at>brandeis.edu)

Amanda Winn ’13 is a Biology major, undergraduate teaching assistant in the General Biology lab, and occasional science pirate.

“Hunting the Elements” to air on PBS on April 4

PBS will be airing a NOVA special on April 4th called “Hunting the Elements“, with a substantial segment on “The Elements of Life” filmed right here at Brandeis (and featuring Prof. Christine Thomas). The program is meant for a general audience, so it won’t be terribly technical and it should certainly be fun to watch. Definitely tell your friends and families to tune in!

I knew something was up when i ran into cameramen while going into Gzang 123 to teach…

Brandeis has a long history of working with PBS in making educational television, dating back to the early days of the university. You can read more about it on the Archives and Special Collections webpage and in Abram Sachar’s book Brandeis University: A Host at Last.

 See also story at Brandeis NOW.

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