Outreach Projects

Entrepreneurship Education
The goal of this program is to create a community of scientists, students and entrepreneurs to turn the work of the Center into the commercial arena.  The Rice Alliance, an existing organization, will expand its role as a meeting center for professors, students and management professionals by specifically including forums aimed at Center technologies.  A new graduate course in high technology entrepreneurship will be jointly offered between the Jones School of Management and the Center.  Finally, a yearly "entrepreneurship for academics" conference run by the executive education program of the JSM will offer a 2 day workshop in Management 101 for professors and graduate students.

Training High School Science Teachers
An investment in teacher training multiplies itself many times over the years as motivated and highly trained teachers inspire not only generations of students, but their peers as well.  Our Center's members will bring a much needed scientific expertise to an enormously successful teacher training program run jointly by Rice and the Houston school district.  Teachers in this program will receive lectures from Center members the spring before they spend 8 weeks as research fellows in Center laboratories.  The following year they take a saabatical in which they develop course materials and curriculum based on their interactions with the Center.  They also have the opportunity to recommend students for our high school academy program, aimed at involving underrepresented minorities in science well before the enter college.

Minority REU Program
REU programs represent one of the most effective ways to involve students in science, and increase the chances of participants going to graduate school.  We will develop an REU program targeted specifically at the local undergraduate institutions with high fractions of underrepresented minorities.  An active recruiting effort will include trips by students and faculty to targeted schools in the fall and cash awards for undergraduate research presentations at local scientific meetings.

The Nanocurriculum
The development of course materials for both undergraduate and graduate courses in nanoscience is a major feature of our outreach.  At the undergraduate level, we will leverage money from the Dreyfus foundation given for the development of new interdisciplinary lab modules.  The photocatalytic properties of nanocrystalline TiO2 is one example of a lab/lecture module to be developed both for chemistry and environmental engineering students.  We will adopt the structure of the widely successful "materials world modules" from UW.  Also, two faculty will receive release time to teach a graduate course in nanoscience.  Ultimately, they will seek to publish this course as a textbook and on the web for use at other schools. 

To contact us:

Dr. Vicki Colvin/Dr. Kristen Kulinowski
MS60 Department of Chemistry, Rice University, Houston TX 77005