CPIMA Education Programs
The education programs and partnerships of CPIMA promote science education and awareness of materials science - with a special emphasis on polymers - throughout society. Activities are targeted at students of all levels (elementary to graduate) as well as the general public. CPIMA education programs are designed to include all people, with a special emphasis on those bringing diversity to the study and practice of science and engineering including women, minorities, the disabled, and the economically disadvantaged.
SURE Program (not offered this year)
The principal goals of CPIMA’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program are to provide the best possible research experience for SURE students and to provide guidance for these students as they make future career decisions. Students participate in a ten-week summer research program, working with faculty, industrial scientists, post-doctorals, and graduate students on projects relating to polymer interfaces and macromolecular assemblies. Depending on the location, students get major exposure to either an industrial or academic research setting. In addition, they are exposed to new ideas in materials science and engineering and polymer science, which go beyond their traditional undergraduate curricula. All students present their results in a poster session of the CPIMA Summer Forum, which is a technical conference on polymers, held at one of the CPIMA sites. Over the summer, seminars, social outings, and the Summer Forum offer opportunities for students to network and get to know other scientists besides their mentors. All of these activities are important to the development of the students, and an accurate assessment of the impact of each of these activities on the students is a long-term goal of the CPIMA SURE program.
Research Experience for Teachers (not offered this year)
The goals of the RET Program are similar to those of the SURE Program: to spark teacher interest in and excitement about science and scientific research; to expose teachers to research environments; to teach teachers fundamental concepts of science and engineering; to provide teachers opportunities to work closely with faculty, industrial scientists, postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, and undergraduate students to build a valuable networking arena; and to energize teachers through a professional development experience. Most importantly, we aim to provide teachers with a solid foundation of how research is conducted in today’s world and assist them in incorporating what they experience into materials they can use to teach their students.
MESA Community College Program (MCCP) Partnership
CPIMA formed a partnership with the California Math Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) Community College Program (MCCP) in 2005 and developed pilot programs in 2006. The MCCP “provides math, engineering and science academic enrichment to community college students so they excel academically and transfer to four-year institutions as math-based majors.” Most of the students are members of groups underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields as MESA emphasizes participation by students from groups with low eligibility rates for four-year institutions. [more]