Outreach and Leadership

Organizing workshops and symposia

We have promoted the science of neutron scattering and materials chemistry by organizing workshops or symposia both locally and at the national level. For neutron scattering, we organized the first ever Neutron Day in the Fall of 2014 and the Representational Analysis and Magnetic Structures ( RAMS ) in the summer of 2015. For a program of the RAMS workshop, click here. We have also organized symposia at the American Crystallography Accociation national meeting in 2015 on materials and crystal growth ( program here ) and the upcoming American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Francisco on emergent phenomena in solid state materials.

(left) Dr. Andrew Wills from University College London ( website ) giving a lecture on representational analysis to solve magnetic structures at the RAMS workshop. (right) Students from across the U.S. and abroad in attendance during the 4-day workshop.

(left) Group picture in front of Kim Engineering Building on the University of Maryland campus. (right) Dr. William Ratcliff from the NIST Center for Neutron Scattering, Dr. Manuel Perez-Mato from the Universidad del Pais Vasco and Bilbao Crystallographic Server, Dr. Efrain Rodriguez, and Dr. Donna Arnold from the University of Kent at the workshop dinner.

The ACS student affiliates and tutoring at Northwestern High School

Dr. Rodriguez is currently the faculty adviser of American Chemical Society student affilliates of the University of Maryland ( click here ). The ACS club was successfully relaunched in 2013, and have included a multitude of events such as seminars organized by students, crowdfunding through the LAUNCH program, assisting the Chemical Society of Washington with events, and attending the ACS national meetings. The ACS students have also set up a new tutoring program with neighboring Northwestern High School. Here are some pictures of their chemistry demonstrations they have performed through to get students excited about signing up for after-school tutoring!

(left) ACS students performing a series of experiments for students at Northwestern High School to demonstrate concepts of pH, oxygen gas evolution, Lewis dot diagrams, and neutralization reactions. (right) Dr. Rodriguez with ACS UMD affliiates attending the National Meeting in Boston (2015) to present their work and attend symposia and workshops.

Increasing participation in STEM from underrepresented groups

We are intersted in reaching out to the local Latino community around College Park, particularly in Prince George's and Montgomery Counties. As such Dr. Rodriguez has served on several panels and events speaking to parents and students interested about the ins and outs of pursuing STEM fields. Such events included the recent "Sábado de Ciencias" or "Saturday of Science" at and sponsored by Discovery Education and Prince George's County Public Schools ( see flyer ), the STEM Expo for Parents sponsored by the Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering held on campus (see flyer), and an event titled "Paving the Way the College". We have also participated in recruitment at the Society for Advancing of Chicano and Native American Scientists ( SACNAS ) national meetings, and have performed outreach events including the where we demonstrated the Meissner effect in superconductors with a magnetic racetrack!

Dr. Rodriguez placing a superconducting puck of YBCO wrapped in teflon on the magnetic racetrack for middle school students on a campus event (Spring 2015).

Undergraduate and high school researchers

Our laboratory has also been involved in other activities such as hosting a high school student during the summer for research experience through the ACS SEEDS project (click here). In the summer of 2014, we hosted Arrienne Chandler from McKinley Tech High School in DC to our laboratory and she was mentored by Amber Larson on the preparation of new magnetic materials with the hollandite structure. Finally, we are a laboratory that believes that the undergraduates at UMD should also participate in the research laboratory in addition to the classroom.

(left) Efrain and Amber in the laboratory with Ariane Chandler from McKinley Technology High School of Washington DC. (right) Undergradaute intern and Beckman Scholar Brenna Hodges (center) at the Beckman Center in UC Irvine with other scholars.