Broadening materials science outreach

Regional employers are coping with too few qualified candidates for materials science-related jobs, MIT Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Rafael Jaramillo says, but many community college students are unaware of the opportunities available to them. Jaramillo hopes to grow the pool of materials scientists beginning with one student at a time.

This June, Jaramillo’s lab is rolling out the Guided Academic Industry Network (GAIN) program, which will offer at least one intern for each of the next five summers a chance to conduct research in his lab, coupled with the possibility to intern at a local company the following summer.

Professor Jaramillo

The impact of outreach to community college students is multi-faceted. “As an educator, it feels really good to see the students succeed. These are students who we don’t get to interact with very often, and it’s been a real pleasure to see them learn something completely new and find success, so there is a satisfaction that comes from that,” he says. The summer internships also are a service to materials science. 
“When you see the opportunity that these students present, and you see the need that the industry that we serve has, and you see an opportunity to help, it’s great that I have the opportunity to do it,” Jaramillo says.


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