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Collaborative Research: Conference: MateriAlZ Winter School 2024

Sponsored by National Science Foundation

$12K Funding
2 People

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This grant provides funding for the first MateriAlZ Winter School to be held in January 2024. A team of professors (Arizona State University and University of Arizona) are organizing this school. They represent key STEM fields ranging from chemistry and materials to manufacturing and engineering and are also the founders of the successful MateriAlZ Seminar series that is accessible remotely every Friday within the school year as well as permanently on the YouTube channel. The team recognizes the importance of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) topics in research but also in education and science communication. To reach the next generation of trained professionals in these areas, the Winter School will cover broad and timely topics, such as synthesis and manufacturing, artificial intelligence, and quantum and energy materials. Aside from these core tutorials, the school will also include interactive soft skill training sessions, panel discussions as well as networking opportunities with industry representatives. Students who are interested in applying for graduate studies will be recruited giving priority to underrepresented groups. The organizers will cover travel and lodging (at Biosphere, Oracle, AZ) for the students. A long-term benefit for all participants will be building a reliable MateriAlZ network that is accessible beyond the meeting dates and will be a valuable resource for students, speakers, and industry/government representatives alike. This event is the first MateriAlZ Winter School organized by a team of professors at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona. The school will be launched in January 2024 and held yearly thereafter. In the theme of the popular MateriAlZ Seminar series that the team is organizing, the four-day winter school will cover broad topics from the key areas of chemistry, engineering, and manufacturing of materials. The event is free of charge for (junior and senior) undergraduate students and will promote the US Southwest as a growing hub for materials research, showcase large-scale activities at both schools, serve as a networking platform for students interested in US graduate programs and promote careers in high-tech industries throughout the Southwest region. The school will include tutorial sessions on broad materials science and engineering (MSE) topics ranging from quantum materials, semiconductors and energy materials to syntheses and manufacturing and artificial intelligence taught by local and external speakers. The program also consists of soft skill courses (e.g., on networking and making efficient figures) as well as panel discussions on graduate programs and funding mechanisms. The school provides an excellent window into MSE research topics and the general graduate school experience, which is beneficial for undergraduate students as they apply to different graduate schools. The immediate impact will be in providing information and guidance that many undergraduate students lack, especially first-generation students and those that belong to an underrepresented group in science. Moreover, the team will provide sustainable long-term benefits for all participants, even beyond the actual meeting dates that include face-to-face time. This will be accomplished within an online space (MateriAlZ website) where brief summaries of the meeting content will be collected, and photo and video materials will be posted. On top of this, there will be an ?Alumni corner? for future interactions and events to provide all participants with a reliable and long-term MateriAlZ network. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.