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Anne Lynn Gillian-Daniel1 Matthew Stilwell1 Wendy Crone1 Nicholas Abbott1

1, MRSEC, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States

The emphasis that NSF places on meaningful, effective Broader Impacts can be challenging for researchers developing research proposals. An effective strategy for dealing with the challenge is to collaborate with groups who focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) outreach to the public. By integrating research and education, the University of Wisconsin Materials Research Science and Engineering Center’s (UW MRSEC) works with researchers to create research-inspired materials science and engineering (MSE) educational resources and programs. These resources, including classroom laboratory experiments, hands-on outreach activities, and research programs for teachers, are designed to inform and excite K-12 students, teachers, and public audiences about MSE research and its applications to their world. The UW MRSEC works with researchers to develop broader impacts plans that align with their goals and interests. For example, some faculty members have collaborated with us to develop outreach activities by modeling the cutting-edge instrumentation funded through an equipment proposal. Other faculty members have supported and hosted a teacher in the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program. Through the RET, Wisconsin teachers perform research in the laboratory of the faculty members and develop new classroom curriculum based upon their summer research experiences. The new curriculum modules are implemented and evaluated in the RET fellow’s classroom the following school year. The modules can then be adapted for other audiences and outreach venues. Following development and adaptation, UW MRSEC members work with faculty to field test new resources, evaluate them for engagement and efficacy, and iteratively improve them. The faculty members and their students then present the completed activities at outreach events both on and off the UW campus. These activities can also be disseminated online on the MRSEC education website, in-person during workshops, and in professional education journals. Examples of research-inspired educational resources developed by faculty for NSF proposals and the UW MRSEC, along with avenues for dissemination, will be shown as part of the presentation.

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