Hampton, Va. – Scientists from Hampton University reached over 1,100 middle and high school students and their parents in their quest to increase the number of underrepresented people in the STEM professions. The event was co-sponsored with the Technique Track Club and held during the AAU track meet at the Boo Williams Sportsplex on Sunday, Feb. 28. The students had a chance to do hands-on science experiments with PREM researches Dr. Stefan Cooper and Dr. Marcos Guerrero Munoz, the first scientists hired under the PREM grant and who are being trained to become college science professors.
Drs. Cooper and Guerrero Munoz interacted with over 480 athletes, and informed over 700 parents and grandparents about STEM and Health related programs at HU. Their efforts were focused on increasing the number of African American, Latino, Native-American, Female, and other underrepresented groups in science by providing students in the Hampton Roads area with early exposure to STEM subjects and even more rarely—materials science.
This education and outreach effort is made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation which awarded a Hampton University research team a renewable 5-year $3.0 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Materials Research's Partnership for Research in Education and Materials (PREM) program. This funding expands an established collaboration between Hampton University-based materials science researchers and colleagues at the Brandeis University Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). The Hampton PREM award of $600,000 per year will support collaborative research, education, training and outreach activities of the Hampton University faculty, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, undergraduate students and high school students from Governors' School for Science and Technology (GSST).
Awarded through a highly competitive process, the project is entitled "Hampton-Brandeis Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM)" and is under the direction of Hampton University's Dr. Raymond Samuel and Dr. Deidre Gibson and Brandeis University's Dr. Seth Fraden. The Hampton PREM’s primary goals are to bolster HU faculty materials science research activities, and to catalyze the recruitment and retention of talented students under-represented in STEM pursuing research careers in materials science and engineering fields.