MSE Hosts Hands-On Experience for Philadelphia Youths

Published on Wednesday August 1, 2007

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering welcomed about 100 young students from the Exodus to Excellence Summer Program to learn about materials on Friday, July 27.

Exodus to Excellence is a nonprofit organization that serves the youth of the greater Philadelphia area by introducing them to enrichment programs during summer camps, school year workshops, and after school enhancement labs. The program’s students visited Drexel as part of a partnership with Drexel’s Alliance for Minority Participation (AMP), an endeavor that promotes the success of minority students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines.

The students’ visit kicked off in the Mitchell Auditorium of the Bossone Research Enterprise Center at 9 a.m. where students heard an introductory materials lesson from Dr. Rick Knight. They then had the chance to experience a variety of demonstrations led by MSE graduate students, including “Liquid Crystal Thermometers” with Naomi Hampson, “Slime and Foam” with Kishore Tenneti, “Materials Make it Possible” with Alex Moseson, and “Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream” with Aaron Sakulich. The students’ morning session with materials was topped off with a lunch served in Bossone Lobby and held in conjunction with a research poster session presented by Drexel’s College of Engineering High School Summer Mentorship Program. The Summer Mentorship Program is a dynamic, three-week research experience that provides high school students with a unique opportunity to work in a Drexel laboratory on an individualized research project.

Exodus to Excellence participants enjoyed their hands-on experiences with each MSE demo as much as the department’s faculty, staff, and students enjoyed hosting the students.

“The Department of Materials Science and Engineering values the opportunity to introduce local students to materials science, all aspects of engineering, and the thriving university environment,” Dr. Surya Kalidindi, Department Head and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, said.  “We’re delighted that the feedback from the Exodus to Excellence participants was so positive.”