The University of Maryland MRSEC grants ended in September 2013 after 17 years of successful operation. This site remains as a history of the center, but will not be actively maintained.
University of Maryland
Materials Research Science and Engineering Center
In 2005, MRSEC and the International Spy Museum established a partnership to increase middle school studentsí interest in, and awareness of, scientific concepts and new technologies. Museum and MRSEC educators designed a series of programs that focus on the relationship between tradecraft and research.
Annually, MRSEC and the International Spy Museum co-host a KidSpy Workshop titled Operation Night Spy: Espionage in the Dark. Students from middle schools in the DC metro area, including MRSEC partner schools, attend the evening program to discover the science behind spying. Students participate in spy activity stations and materials analysis laboratories. These activities are developed by MRSEC researchers and volunteers, and give students a fun way to learn how materials science, physics, and chemistry can be applied in spying missions. Building on the success of these activities, MRSEC has participated in Spy Fest and developed the summer camp, Mission Possible: The Science Behind Spying.
Inspired by the success of Operation Night Spy, the annual Science of Spying workshop co-hosted by MRSEC and the International Spy Museum provides educators with the resources to infuse STEM lessons and activities with the excitement of spying. Educators from across the country participate in this workshop and each receives a resource kit that provides them with everything they need to bring the activities and lessons to life in their own classrooms. Activities are inquiry-based and aligned with national science standards. The resource kit includes materials and supplies and a bound manual consisting of step-by-step instructions, fact sheets, research applications, ideas for science fairs, and links to easily obtain additional information and materials. In addition, the workshop includes a keynote talk, The Science of Spying at the CIA, by former director of the CIA's Office of Technical Service (OTS) Robert Wallace; a Spy Tech Tour of the International Spy Museum; and a picnic-style dinner.
The University of Maryland's Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) and the International Spy Museum are on a mission to design activities and programs that engage teachers and students in spy tradecraft and STEM education!Check out the 2011 video!