Peter Bermel is engaging with the larger community both at Purdue and outside of campus in a number of ways. His primary goal is to broaden participation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to include traditionally under-represented groups. Another goal is to serve in key roles necessary for the smooth functioning of the university.
He has previously worked with Birck Nanotechnology Center on the NanoDays project (see below for further details). Planned projects include the Research Goes to Schools program, organized by the Discovery Learning & Research Center; mentoring and tutoring programs for undergraduates as well as K-12 outreach, organized by the Purdue Women in Engineering Program. He also particularly encourages students from traditionally under-represented groups to apply to his undergraduate and graduate research programs. If you are aware of other opportunities where Peter Bermel could play a unique role in broadening participation in STEM, please contact him at . Thank you!
The Birck Nanotechnology Center (BNC) at Purdue University hosts an annual 2-day event every April, known as NanoDays. This event is organized at a national level by the Nanoscale Informal Science Network (NISE). In this program, we invite the general public, but particularly local Indiana students in all grades (K-12) to learn about nanoscale science through a range of activities. In the absence of a substantial number of local science museums, this event is particular important for broadening the educational horizons of traditionally under-served school children, who lack the time and the financial resources to travel to big cities on a regular basis. For the most recent Purdue BNC NanoDays event, held April 26-27, 2012, nearly 2000 people attended. Activities included trained tour guides for all organized groups, to give an overview of the activities in BNC and those specific to our event; Science Café lectures, given to 100 students at a time, discussing the science behind each researcher's work in layman's terms; and live, hands-on demonstrations to illustrate the concepts underlying our work, such as a colloidal gold solution with nanoparticles prepared of various sizes, to demonstrate the importance of sub-wavelength nanoscale structure in shaping optical properties. Another example is using a film-forming agent on a dark substrate (e.g., nail polish) to illustrate nanoscale interference.
Additionally, Peter serves on a few key committees within Purdue ECE -- currently, these include the undergraduate curriculum committee and the admissions committee.