Educational Outreach – K-12 Teachers


Brandeis Scientists in the Classroom


The Brandeis MRSEC and WHS present: Science Pizza Talks

Once a month, Brandeis scientists from diverse backgrounds travel to Waltham High School to  share their unique personal journeys into science careers at while high school students ask questions and enjoy free pizza.

What Teachers Say About the Series

Marisa Maddox, Waltham High School Biology Teacher:
"Waltham High School is beginning our third year of monthly Science Pizza Talks.  This opportunity has been an amazing collaboration with Brandeis University to bring in scientists from a variety of fields to talk with high school students about their path into science and their current research.  We hold these monthly Science Pizza Talks during student lunches, so as not to disrupt any classes and to open this opportunity up to all students.  The talks are attended by both motivated students already on the track to college, and by students still deciding what to do after high school.  The scientists that participate come from diverse backgrounds with varying paths into science.  Past presenters have discussed their immigration into the United States and the difficulty of learning the language and culture while trying to excel in school.  Other presenters have discussed their mediocre grades and disinterest in high school, and their unconventional path into graduate school and science research.  Many students connect and relate to the scientists’ experiences and they leave these talks inspired to pursue their dreams.  On a number of occasions, the scientists have shared their contact information and a few students have corresponded with the scientists about career paths and questions about college and beyond.  I consistently get feedback from my students about how much they enjoyed hearing about the scientists’ life stories, their interesting research, and how “normal” and “cool” these scientists are.  The Science Pizza Talks have given students a realistic idea of who a scientist is and sparked an interest to pursue a similar path.  These talks have been very successful at Waltham High School and I am excited to continue this experience for a new group of students."

Heather Metallides, Waltham Public Schools Science Director:
"
For the past two years, Waltham High School has partnered with The Brandeis MRSEC to present Science Pizza Talks. These talks are delivered once a month to a diverse group of Waltham High School Students. Brandeis scientists from diverse backgrounds discuss their own experience in science to date while students ask questions and enjoy free pizza during their lunch period. This monthly lecture is well attended by students and staff and it generates a level of discussion regarding careers in science that may not have happened otherwise. The Brandeis Scientists are engaging, relate to and inspire students of diverse backgrounds. Many scientists have made connections with students and staff beyond the Pizza Talk and discussions take place long after the talk is over.

Due to the success of the high school Science Pizza Talks, Anique Olivier-Mason and I decided to collaborate on a Middle School Science Pizza Talk series. We began these talks during the 2015-2016 academic year at both Middle Schools in Waltham. Students received a ticket to attend during their lunch period for “wins” in the classroom during that month. These “wins” could be for turning in their homework regularly or for outstanding academics and answering rigorous science questions. Students loved these talks and the scientists were really able to relate to the middle school students. The scientists were able to connect real world science to what students were learning in class. Student feedback has been positive and students are asking for more Pizza Talks.

I strongly believe that these talks have made a positive impact on the students that have had exposure to scientists of diverse backgrounds. These talks are not disruptive to the academic day as they are during lunchtime."

Press About the Series

Waltham News Tribune, Waltham Wicked Local, January 14, 2016


Pizza Posters
Pizza Talk Dec 2017
Dec 2017
Pizza Talk Nov 2017
Nov 2017
Pizza Talk Oct 2017
Oct 2017
May 2017
May 2017
Mar 2017
Mar 2017
Jan 2017
Jan 2017
Dec 2016
Dec 2016
Oct 2016
Oct 2016
Apr 2016
Apr 2016
Mar 2016
Mar 2016
Feb 2016
Feb 2016
Jan 2016
Jan 2016
Dec 2015
Dec 2015
Nov 2015
Nov 2015
Oct 2015
Oct 2015


Brandeis and Waltham Middle Schools: Science Pizza Talks

Due to the success of the Waltham High School Pizza Talk series, the Brandeis MRSEC was invited to expand the series into the Waltham Middle Schools.

Pizza Posters
Mar 2016 Middle School Poster
Feb 2016
Dec 2015 Middle School Poster
Dec 2015


Brandeis Scientists in the Classroom Workshop

The Brandeis MRSEC is bringing the exciting world of materials research to Waltham Middle and High School students through our Brandeis Scientists in the Classroom Workshop. Science teachers from Waltham Middle and High Schools participate in a professional development workshop on incorporating visiting scientists into a classroom lesson. During the full-day workshop, teachers interact with scientists eager to come into their classroom.

Additional Programs We Have Held

  • Field Trips to Brandeis Science Laboratories The Brandeis MRSEC welcomes middle and high school classes to campus for laboratory tours and hands-on science activities.
      
  • Partnership for Curriculum Building The Brandeis MRSEC is bringing the exciting world of materials research to Waltham Middle School students through a graduate professional development course for teachers called, Partnership for Curriculum Building. This course is intended to bring MRSEC research into high school classrooms by partnering Brandeis researchers with local area high school science teachers. Together, the partnerships develop curriculum, present in the classrooms, and prepare the material for broader distribution.
  • In 3D Molecules of Life The Brandeis MRSEC co-developed a biochemisty course for Waltham High School students titled, In 3D Molecules of Life. The developers of the course were Brandeis Biochemistry Professor Daniel Pomeranz Krummel, MRSEC Education Director Dr. Anique Olivier-Mason, undergraduate student and 3D printing expert Eduardo Beltrame, and graduate student and former high school physics teacher Vivekanand Pandey Vimal. Click here to learn more. Click here to learn more about the 3D printing class.