ChemLab Boot Camp: MIT OpenCourseWare launches reality series
A new series of videos to be published this fall follows 14 MIT freshmen through their introduction to hands-on science.
CAMBRIDGE, MA, August 14, 2012 — Each year, groups of MIT freshmen are introduced to MIT’s laboratory environment through a four-week January course called 5.301 Introductory Lab Techniques. In January 2012, a film crew followed 14 students as they struggled to complete experiments required in the class. The stakes are high—students who pass the class are guaranteed a job in an MIT research lab.
This fall, MIT OpenCourseWare will share videos that follow these students as they face the challenges of learning chemistry the MIT way through a unique series called ChemLab Boot Camp. The episodes will be released each week starting in September, and announced on the ChemLab Boot Camp e-mail list.
Watch the ChemLab Boot Camp trailer.
The 2-5 minute episodes, shot in a style that mixes the geek fun of open educational resources with the immediacy of reality TV, brings viewers closer to the experience of being an MIT student than ever before. The videos follow the students as they struggle to master lab techniques such as growing crystals and synthesizing antibiotics. The videos are part of a broader effort at MIT funded by The Dow Chemical Company to foster interest in science and engineering careers.
“Despite the critical need for more and more people trained in chemistry and chemical engineering, the fields have not been as attractive as they should be,” said MIT chemistry Professor John Essigmann in commenting on the idea behind the series. “Dow and MIT have mobilized our collective resources to try to show high school and college students what it is like to be a chemist. We hope to show the human side of our field and to inspire young people to want to become the next generation of chemists.”
The MIT-Dow Outreach Fund is designed to develop and support the science and engineering careers of underrepresented minorities and women. A five-year, $2 million commitment from Dow, the Outreach Fund is intended to support science education at all levels. The establishment of this Outreach Program comes as MIT celebrates its 150th anniversary.
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to advance what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world’s most challenging problems, such as the need for clean water, the generation and conservation of renewable energy, and the improvement of agricultural productivity. Dow’s diversified portfolio of specialty businesses in chemistry, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers around the world. In 2011, Dow had annual sales of $60 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company’s more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 197 sites in 36 countries across the globe. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at (http://www.dow.com).
About Highlights for High School
Highlights for High School organizes more than 70 introductory level courses from the OCW site, and indexes over 2,700 individual resources to the AP curricula for calculus, chemistry, physics and biology, helping American students and educators find resources quickly. The Highlights site also includes dozens of demonstrations, competitions and other activities from MIT classes that show how fun and challenging science and technology subjects can be, inspiring the next generation of US engineers and scientists.
About MIT OpenCourseWare
MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in the teaching of substantially all of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate courses—more than 2,100 in all—available on the Web, free of charge, to any user in the world. OCW receives an average of 1.75 million web site visits per month from more than 215 countries and territories worldwide. To date, more than 100 million individuals have accessed OCW materials.
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