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
The Annual Middle School Student Science Conference is co-hosted by the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) and the American Institute of Physics (AIP) Education Division. The Conference has gained wide recognition and interest from area schools and the community. This program is designed for middle school and draws students from diverse backgrounds.
The conference program is guided by three objectives: 1) to improve students’ abilities in and perceptions of science, 2) to improve students’ research presentation skills, and 3) to involve families and community in science education. To accomplish these objectives, three components have been developed: 1) mentors work with students to carry out the scientific method by completing a science fair project, 2) mentors work with student to help transform their science fair projects into scientific presentations in one-on-one mentoring sessions, and 3) students present their projects at the conference day event.
Presentations are judged based on content, style, and how well students address questions from the judges and audience. The audience consists of parents, teachers, mentors, and distinguished community members.
The success of the conference can be seen in the feedback from students who have gone on to study science and engineering in high school and college. For example, a 1999 conference participant who is now physics major and Meyerhoff Scholar recently wrote, “I hope that you have seen what a profound impact your involvement, as well as your colleagues’, has made in the lives and career paths of aspiring young students; I am the result of efforts of people like you.”
|1st Place Winner:||S. Wagner, Takoma Park Middle School|
|Project Title:||The Effect of Magnesium on the Hill Reaction of Photosynthesis|
|2nd Place Winner:||B. Davis, Ernest Everett Just Middle School|
|Project Title:||Effect of Weight Distribution on Distance|
|3rd Place Winner:||L. Klett, Takoma Park Middle School|
|Project Title:||Creating a P-N Junction Semiconductor Solar Cell|