Clubes de Ciencia - A great mentoring experience!!!

The CSF funding helped us finance part of the “Club de Ciencias” in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.

I graduated from MIT this September with a PhD in Geophysics, and thanks to the funds provided by CSF I could finish my education experience in a very high note by starting to provide mentoring for younger students interested in science.

Club de Ciencias (CdeC) is an organization comprised of grad students of different universities (MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, among others) and we had other sources of funding to provide for airfare and accommodation for all instructors.

CdeC has designed a blended model for science education, combining ex- periential and digital learning. The main building block of our program is the “Clubes de Ciencia“: Intensive Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workshops delivered to high school and college students.

 The workshops were 1 week long from July 27 to August 2nd in Ensenada and in Guanajuato.

The funds from CdeC were used to help several clubs, and in particular the workshop that I organized: “How do rocks flow?”

 ‘’How do rocks flow?” was a weeklong (5 hours a day) workshop for undergraduate and high-school students. The workshop was focused on experiments on analog materials to understand the rheology of the Earth and its implications for natural hazards and industrial applications.

 The students learned about plate tectonics, the cycle of rocks, stress and strain, viscoelastic and viscoplastic rheology and brittle and ductile behaviors.  All the material for this workshop was bought with the CSF fund: projector, laser pointers for the workshops in general, poster printing at MIT copytech for a plate tectonics activity, chocolate and loupe set for the rock cycle, silly putty, modeling clay and corn starch (bought in mexico) for the rheology studies, amplifier, subwoofers and RCA cables to study non Newtonian rheology, and slinky to study wave propagation. My lab provided the material for a photoelastic set-up to illustrate stress concentration along cracks. Other funding from CdeC provided the transportation to a field area where we saw some fossils (Rudists from the late Cretaceous).