CMI Outreach 2023

CMI education and outreach ranges from youth to adult, with an emphasis on workforce development.

  • logo for Earth Science WeekOn October 12, CMI Workforce Development's Cynthia Howell answered questions about critical materials during a webinar in collaboration with the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) for Earth Sciences Week, which is celebrated annually during the second week of October. Link to the webinar HERE
  • On September 23, CMI Workforce Development staffers led the Rocky Mountain MESA Annual Kick-off meeting at Colorado School of Mines. CMI's Cynthia Howell provided opening remarks for this third consecutive year holding this event with school teacher advisors and Colorado School of Mines graduate student mentors. CMI teacher researcher Danielle Ladd provided information about the program for 2023-24 and details about MESA competition. Teachers represented three school districts, and participated in a MicroBit activity to learn about coding. Four MESA school advisors and graduate research student mentors offered a round table panel discussion. The MESA team described next-steps for the 2023-24 program, how to improve, and how to nurture a strong student-advisor-mentors program team. The MESA USA 2024 national championship event will be held in San Diego in June 2024. 
    Composite image: (top left) four people include CMI workforce development staffers on the left and right of two other presenters from Colorado School of Mines, (top middle) CMI teacher researcher Danielle Ladd speaking to group about the MESA plan, (top right) people in classroom activity (Microbit workshop), and (bottom) group of more than a dozen people standing (2023 student mentors from Colorado School of Mines)
    Composite image: (top left) CMI workforce development staffers on the left and right of two other presenters from Colorado School of Mines, (top middle) CMI teacher researcher Danielle Ladd speaking to group about the MESA plan, (top right) people in classroom activity (Microbit workshop), and (bottom) group 2023 student mentors from Colorado School of Mines.
  • image of classroom with students and CMI Deputy Focus Area Lead Hongyue Jin, University of ArizonaOn July 13, CMI Deputy Focus Area Lead Hongyue Jin, University of Arizona, worked with the Arizona Summer Engineering Academy (SEA), which offers summer outreach programs for rising 10th through 12th graders, as well as graduated seniors, who want to learn more about engineering. She introduced her research related to critical materials recycling and provided hands-on experience to facilitate active learning. She used the CMI toolkit, which was designed by the CMI education and outreach team at Colorado School of Mines. Lesson plans available with the toolkit continue to be developed, and can be used in outreach events such as this, as well as in classrooms. Lesson plans are available from a link on the CMI website HERE
  • image of five people - four high school students and CMI teacher researcher Danielle Ladd (center)June: CMI Workforce Development staffers Cynthia Howell and Danielle Ladd support the Math Engineering Science Achievement (MESA), both nationally and regionally with the Rocky Mountain MESA (RM MESA). Recently, Ladd facilitated the national MESA USA Summer Convening event in mid-June. Also, they participated in the national MESA engineering design event/competition at the end of June, in New Mexico.  They mentored  the winning team from RM MESA, Broomfield high school) and shared CMI online lesson plans developed to accompany the CMI toolkit. They were engaged in curriculum and project meetings to ensure the sustainability of the RM MESA organization into the future and strengthen its relationship with CMI and Colorado School of Mines. The CMI shared lesson plans and toolkits are available for use in outreach and in classrooms.  Link to television interview HERE. Link to newspaper story HERE.
  • people mingle at tables set on grass near college buildingsApril: CMI Education and Workforce Development lead Cynthia Howell, Colorado School of Mines, planned the Rocky Mountain Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (RM-MESA) Jamboree, which was held April 29 at Colorado School of Mines. Current and alumni CMI researchers and staff served as judges for the three-part outreach event for middle and high school MESA clubs and classes. Event partners include NEXUS, Mines Admissions, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman. The national event will take place in June, and CMI education leaders have been invited to support the winning high school team and participate in curriculum and program committee work.
  • April: U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO) offered the virtual Critical Minerals and Materials Education and Workforce Development Workshop on April 19, including CMI Education and Workforce Development lead Cynthia Howell, Colorado School of Mines, describing CMI and its education and workforce development efforts. 
  • February: In celebration of National Engineers Week, Colorado School of Mines (Mines) and Lockheed Martin shared their engineering feats and stories with high school students on Tuesday, February 21, 2023. people standing in a research laboratoryThe event was hosted at Mines with partners welcoming over 60 students and parents to engage in engineering feats, ideas, tours and dialog. The daylong session began with an engaging presentation by Mr. Adam Marcinkowski, Interim Manager for Concepts and Architecture Research and Development Lockheed Martin and Mines alum. He showed film on space research and special projects on mining resources on the Moon. His engaging footage and sincere presentation allowed these young participants to imagine themselves in space careers. Lab tours with hands on opportunities followed, featuring the Advanced Manufacturing lab, the Center for Space Resources, the Mines Museum of Earth Science and the Critical Materials exhibit developed by the Critical Materials Institute. Students seemed thrilled to be given access to these special places, and we have no doubt their interest in engineering and STEM fields was galvanized. Following the tours, a luncheon with the Aerospace Interest Group career panel took place, moderated by Paul Anderson, Lander System, Program Director with five affiliated industry panelists (Mines alumni with connections to Lockheed Martin). This energetic group of Mines alum shared their experiences as students, providing hints and valuable insight for the young audience on a smooth transition from high school to college to industry.
  • group of people standing on stairs to buildingJanuary: In Golden, Colorado, 140 people from 25 institutions gathered for the 2023 Winter Meeting, which included the eighth annual forum for students and early career researchers hosted by Colorado School of Mines. The three-day meeting, held January 24-26, began with a reception at the Mines Museum of Earth Science. Rod Eggert, CMI Deputy Director, Colorado School of Mines, provided the overview and awards, and Walter Copan, Colorado School of Mines Vice President for Research & Technology Transfer, gave the welcome. Plenary presentations were presented by Steven Boyd, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains, Program Manager for Batteries and Critical Materials, and Tom Lograsso, CMI Director, Ames National Laboratory. Oral and poster presentations by CMI early career researchers are the main event at the CMI Winter Meeting, and this year included 20 oral presentations and 16 poster presentations. group of people standing in front of banners are the early career presenters for the CMI Winter Meeting 2023


  • Image of group of peopleJanuary: The CMI Leadership Academy organized the inaugural CMI Short Course, “Rare Earth Elements: Mine to Magnet and Beyond,” held at Colorado School of Mines, January 23-24, which was before the CMI Winter Meeting. The short course reviewed information on critical materials and rare earth elements in presentations from CMI leaders, researchers and industry. More than 60 people participated attended this 1.5 day event. 
  • CMI mentors interns: CMI researchers mentor students through research experiences, including a variety of internships. This year, one of these is through the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Science, which selected 87 graduate students representing 33 states for the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program. Gavin Nop is a doctoral student in mathematics at Iowa State University working with CMI project lead Durga Paudyal on rare earth magnetism and rare earth quantum information science.
  • CMI webinars are offered nearly monthly, and most are recorded. CMI webinars in 2023 include CMI researchers, CMI Affiliate Great Plains Partners, and guest speakers from the U.S. Department of Commerce, The National High Magnetic Field Lab and NANA Regional Corporation. Link to CMI webinars

CMI Outreach 2022

For further information please contact:
Cynthia Howell
Research Faculty, Education, Training and Outreach
Phone: 303-273-3651