Easing the “Quiet Crisis”

April 15th, 2008 - March 31st, 2010 | PROJECT

This Communicating Research to Public Audiences (NSF 03-509) project will produce a half hour documentary television program and use it to conduct outreach to encourage students and teachers to pursue science and engineering careers through hands-on activities in polymers and plastics, cutting edge scientific experiments, enrichment activities, and effective mentoring. The project is based on her NSF-funded research NSF #0300717 aimed at understanding the structure-property relationships of newly developed biopolymers and their composites. The PI previously developed the Why Plastics? curriculum to provide a high-quality science educational experience to pre-college students. This project will create a half-hour documentary to bring the local success she has had with the program to a broader audience. The documentary will be screened on public television and in other venues such as children's museums in an effort to magnify the effects of the Why Plastics? course. Film footage will also be used for a multimedia Web site for documentary viewers who want to learn more about the subject. Why Plastics? primarily serves youth from elementary and middle schools in which a large number of the students are members of underrepresented groups.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Yvonne Akpalu, Principal Investigator, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Audrey Bennett, Co-Principal Investigator, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0754948
Funding Amount: 75000


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Elementary School Children (6-10) | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Engineering
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Broadcast Media | Informal | Formal Connections | K-12 Programs | Media and Technology