Two female middle school students are sitting at a table contemplating a science experiment they are conducting. The science experiment sits in a petri dish in front of them and they are wearing purple latex gloves.

Public outreach and education of the K-12 community is central to overarching vision of CDCM. It is the goal of the CDCM K-12 program, known as STUFF, to educate teachers, students and parents on materials science, dynamics and the control of materials. This outreach will excite students about science and technology, teach them fundamental concepts, illustrate the endless career possibilities available to them through a materials-based science degree, and above all, foster a love of discovery and innovation.

Core STUFF programs and initiatives:

  • Strategic School Partnerships
  • Science Academies in Underserved Schools
  • Educational School Visits
  • Fieldtrips to CDCM labs
  • Teacher Professional Development Days
  • Research Experiences for Teachers Program
  • Community Outreach events like Explore UT & Girl Day

These activities are volunteer driven and couldn’t happen without your support! Please contact Risa Hartman at to learn more about getting involved.


2021 - 2022 STUFF Events

Volunteer Training:

**Role Models Matter WorkshopA workshop around Best Practices of working with K-12 students

It is strongly encouraged that you take a K-12 Mentoring Workshop – Role Models Matter – in advance of participating in outreach events. In this workshop you’ll learn best practices around working with K-12 students. The next Role Models Matter Workshop will be held on Thursday, Sept 30, from 1:00-2:15, in EERC 3.646. Please RSVP to A K-12 Outreach Certificate will be awarded to you after you complete the Role Models Matter Workshop and 5 hours of outreach activities. This certificate is an excellent addition to your CV or resume to show your commitment/passion around educating the next generation of scientists and engineers.


Volunteer Opportunities:

Middle & Elementary School Science Academies

Partnerships with several local schools have been established to give those students an opportunity to explore the world of science and engineering while engaging with UT graduate and undergraduate students. These academies occur once a month, last approximately one hour and consist of engineering/science lessons taught through group activities and experiments.  Volunteers needed to run activities with the students.


Bedicheck Middle School (club held afterschool)

October 14

November 18

December 9

Spring dates TBD


Bernice Hart Elementary (club held afterschool)

October 8

November 5

December 3


Ruth Barron Elementary (club held afterschool)

October 19

November 16

December 14


Science Clubs at the Texas School for the Deaf

Educational and fun monthly science clubs are held for high school students at the Texas School for the Deaf. Students are engaged in active learning with hands-on activities and experiments that allow them to explore all aspects of science. Program runs from 12:30-2:00 pm, once a month. No ASL necessary – Interpreters provided. Lunch included!

Dates TBD


6th Grade Engineering Advisory Days at Kealing Middle School

We will again be partnering with ACES (Austin Civil Engineers Society) to provide all of the 6th graders at Kealing Middle School with an Advisory Engineering Lesson which will also serve as an introduction to their STEM Day held later in the Fall. The plan is for half of the 6th graders to participate on day 1 and the other half on day 2.  This will be in collaboration between ACES, UT Engineering Fraternity, 3M and MRSEC/NASCENT. Volunteers needed from 8am – 10 am on dates TBD to facilitate pre-designed lessons and activities.


School Fieldtrips to Campus

Elementary School Fieldtrips to MRSEC/NASCENT

K-5 graders will visit UT this year to learn more about science, STEM careers, and cutting edge research being performed at UT. The elementary school students will participate in various tours on campus and also experience hands on STEM activities and demonstrations. Each student will be able to self-select 3 tours that interest them the most. Approximately, 6-8 volunteers will be needed to facilitate the tour/activities in their labs. Date of the tours are TBD


Science/Engineering Days at The Thinkery

These afternoons are a great way to introduce children to the wonders of science in an informal and kid-friendly way, piquing their interest in the subject and showing them that science is fun! There are different hands-on activities that have been designed for each Sunday, each having a different themed focus. The program operates on Sunday afternoons at the Thinkery, Austin Children’s Museum.

Fall dates TBD


Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) STEM Day – Feb 2021, dates TBD

This will be our 4th  annual STEM Day hosted for blind and visually impaired students at TSBVI. We will facilitate 8-10 accessible STEM activities for these students, allowing them to interact with science and engineering in a hands-on and engaging manner. Blind and visually impaired students are one of the populations typically left out of mainstream hands-on science. Through events like this small modifications to ensure that all students can have an opportunity to participate in engaging science and engineering. Examples of last year’s activities include:  designing their own breadboard circuits that can filter sound, creating a catapult that launch a ball with sounds, newton rocket cars, slime and balloon rockets. Event to be held on a Saturday in Feb, date TBD. TSBVI. 8-10 volunteers needed.


Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day – Feb 19, 2022

Students and their parents or educators come to UT for an afternoon of engineering fun. UT’s national award winning Girl Day, presented by the Women in Engineering Program (WEP), gives over 2,000 first through eighth grade students a chance to:

  • Have fun doing grade-specific, hands-on engineering activities,
  • Meet students, professors and engineers from industry, and
  • See what it's like to be an engineer.

Volunteers lead hands-on engineering activities, answer questions for all our guests, set-up and clean-up, and more. Inquire for more details on how you can get involved through the NASCENT ERC or MRSEC. Event will either be in-person or virtual.


Explore UT – March 5, 2022

This is an event that opens up the entire campus to local school children, their teachers and parents. It is held each Spring at UT and different departments sponsor activity booths and demonstrations that are creative, engaging, educational and above all fun! Explore UT will be held this year on March 3. Stay tuned to see how you can get involved through the NASCENT ERC or MRSEC.



Held at the Thinkery, this annual event brings university researchers together with science museum educators, creating unique learning experiences. NanoDays engages people of all ages in a miniscule world where materials have special properties and new technologies have spectacular promise. The celebration combines simple hands-on activities for children with lots of fun! NanoDays activities demonstrate different, unexpected properties of materials at the nanoscale. 6-12 Volunteers needed. 2022 date TBD and dependent on pandemic.


Science Fair at the Texas School for the Deaf – date TBD

Each year all TSD High School students complete a project for their annual Science Fair. Volunteers are needed to act as judges the day of the event. The fair will be held in the spring date TBD, from 8:00 am -12:30 pm. 6-10 volunteers needed


Outreach Club

Interested in designing engaging science and engineering activities for K-12 students? The designed activities will be used in MRSEC and NASCENT outreach programs like those listed on this sheet. The Outreach Club meets regularly, about 1-2 times per month. Let me know if you are interested!


Middle School Tutoring at Kealing Middle & LASA High School

Help local youth in our community learn essential math and science skills during tutoring sessions at Kealing Middle School and LASA High School. Tutoring support needed from 10 am – 1pm, Mondays – Fridays & 3pm-5pm, Mondays – Thursdays. Tutors would work within an already established tutoring program at both of these schools.