Educational Programs

Educational outreach at the Princeton Center for Complex Materials supports the broader impact efforts of Princeton Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. (For k-12 students, families and the public, visit for Outreach Programs.)

Princeton University Materials Academy (PUMA). Each summer since 2002, PCCM brings high school students from underrepresented backgrounds to Princeton to attend PUMA, a three-week materials science and engineering programIn addition to participating in coursework, independent projects and lab tours, the PUMA students meet with undergraduate and graduate students for conversations about career paths in science and engineering. 

At the college level, the PCCM Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), annually enrolls ~22 students in the nine-week program, all of whom are recruited from outside of Princeton University. The program includes lectures, hands-on mentored research, and tours of Princeton’s facilities. In 2017, PCCM formed a regional MRSEC network with New York University and Columbia University where students from all three MRSECs visit Princeton for lectures, networking, lab tours and a final poster session hosted at NYU.

At the postgraduate level, PCCM's collaborative research environment engages graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to pursue careers in materials science. Each year, 2-3 talented postdocs are selected for PCCM Postdoctoral Fellowships. All Center postdocs, whether or not they are supported by the fellowship, attend four mentoring lunch meetings annually to discuss opportunities in academia and industry, ethics in research, presenting effective talks, and networking. 

Graduate students and postdocs attend monthly Industrial and Government Labs Seminars and participate in our annual Poster Night and annual PCCM Symposium, which provide opportunities for sharing research with peers and faculty.

Both Princeton and non-Princeton graduate students and postdocs are invited to the Princeton Summer School on Condensed Matter Physics, a four-day program focused on theoretical and experimental physics. This program, together with the other initiatives, provide valuable educational opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, and we are committed to continuing and improving them over the next project cycle.

PCCM  also conducts the annual Science Communication and Education Network (SCENe) workshop based on the NSF-funded Portal to the Public approach to hone science communication skills and interactions with a community of researchers who share an interest in science outreach. This workshop is available to Princeton and CSUN graduate students and postdocs.

Education and Outreach: Highlights 2015-2019

Videos of Educational Programs (also view on YouTube):

Princeton University Materials Academy (PUMA) 2019
Princeton University Materials Academy (PUMA) 2014
Princeton Materials Science Camp for Teachers 2009
Princeton Materials Science Camp for Teachers 2005
WNJN covers the PUMA Spy Academy 2004
WZBN covers PUMA 2003
WNJN covers PUMA (undated)