The Mayagüez Nanotechnology Center: 10 Years of Transformative Impact on STEM Education and Research Across the Academic Echelon Conference Poster uri icon


  • Established in 2008 at the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez (UPRM), the Nanotechnology Center Phase I focused on in-depth training of students from public schools and undergraduate and graduate students (UGS). Originally engaging two high schools, after 10 years, the Center Phase II’s Education and Outreach Group (EOG) maintains 15 Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) clubs in middle and high schools in Western Puerto Rico. This strategy is at the core of the Center’s social impact, as many of their 500 members represent economically-disadvantaged households. Mentored by a teacher affiliated to and trained by the Center, each club provides an enriching venue through planned hands-on interventions by the EOG and carried out by the Center’s UGS. The clubs’ Annual Meeting held at UPRM’s Coliseum serves as an entertaining activity, where the participants learn by building large-scale balloon models that demonstrate complex functionalities of nanostructured materials studied in the Center’s four research groups. Meanwhile, these groups have been solidly productive and trained more than a hundred UGS, including former MSE club members, who nowadays pertain to the STEM and Nanotechnology workforce. This material is based upon work supported by NSF under Grants No. 0833112 and 1345156 (CREST program)

publication date

  • October 26, 2018