The National Science Foundation Emerging Frontiers in Research & Innovation Research Experience & Mentoring Program (NSF EFRI REM), 2023-2024

Lab members Taylor Repetto, Katie Burkhard, and Yeye Zhang along with Eva Pontrelli and Chao Huang from Dr. Max Stein’s lab worked closely as NSF REM mentors to our six undergraduate participants Landen Thompson (Morehouse College), Addie Bell (University of Mississippi), Berk Kasciman (George Mason University), Leah Robinson (Rochester Institute of Technology), Melanie Jiminez (The College of William and Mary), and Ella Dulski (Wellesley University). The intended focus of the research was in regards to distributed manufacturing of personalized medicines and the mitigation of the associated trade-offs between complexity and compliance and personalization and cost-effective manufacturability of the prescribed regimen. The mission of the REM program is to expose a diverse group of under-represented undergraduates from a broad range of universities across the nation to hands-on materials science and STEM research experiences via on- and off-campus long-standing mentorship. Our desired outcome is to help our NSF REM participants build the necessary research foundations to encourage productive and passionate research participation in the future. See our NSF EFRI REM page for more info!

Volunteering through the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Student Council (BME GSC)

Members of the lab work closely with the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Student Council (BME GSC) to establish outreach activities for graduate students in the biomedical engineering department. Lab member Eric Horst, working as the Vice President of Fundraising for BME GSC, has helped design and organize volunteering events for graduate students. His goals are to foster STEM in the local community, improve community and culture within University of Michigan’s BME department, and help educate the next generation of engineers. Over the past two years, Eric has coordinated graduate student science project judging at a local middle school science fair. Additionally, to keep the department of BME active and healthy during the COVID19 lock-down Eric formed and coordinated a virtual BME 5k, with an online training platform, for students and faculty to post their workouts and support each other during difficult times. Charitable donations from the 5k went to support a local COVID19 testing clinic.

Volunteering through the Graduate Society of Women Engineers (GradSWE)

Members of the lab work closely with the Graduate Society of Women Engineers (GradSWE) to establish outreach activities for graduate students. Lab members Caymen Novak and Catherine Snyder, working as Outreach Co-Chairs for GradSWE, have helped design and organize volunteering events for graduate students to introduce STEM topics and ideas to elementary students local to the University of Michigan. This past year, a program for 4th graders which focused on a new engineering topic each week (kinetic and potential energy, density, circuits and polymers) included a short discussion and a hands-on project that lasted an hour and was held once a week for four weeks at two local elementary schools. Expanding the program this year, Catherine and the other Outreach Co-chairs, are continuing the 4th grade program and adding a single session for kindergarten students to talk about and demonstrate the 3 phases of matter. Additionally, as a GradSWE Outreach Co-chairs, Catherine and Caymen have recently initiated a partnership with the Girl Scouts of America to provide more STEM based activities for the Girl Scout Troops in Ann Arbor. Planned collaboration events include a science based Halloween activity, a three Saturday event where STEM topics such as sustainability, biology, and coding will be presented to the troops through hands on learning and group projects, and a four-day robotics event where the troops will work together to build and operate their robots. 


ASM Camp for High School Teachers

The ECM lab participates each year in the ASM Teachers Materials Camp that happens at the University of Michigan. During the camp, high school teachers tour the lab and are given ideas and talking points about current research in the field of materials science and engineering that they can take back to their classrooms.

Discover Engineering

Professor Mehta and the ECM lab organized the Materials Science and Engineering Department activities for Discover Engineering 2017. Discover Engineering is a two day on-campus camp for 8th - 10th grade students and their parents to learn about the different engineering disciplines offered at the University of Michigan. Through lab tours and hands on activities, the students were able to learn about fracture mechanics, crystal growth, kiragami and hydrogels used for cancer cell studies carried out in the ECM lab.