About CVD 2016
Congressional Visits Day (CVD), organized by Material Advantage, is set for April 18 – 19, 2016, in Washington, DC. CVD gives US-based Material Advantage Student Members an exciting opportunity to visit with legislators and congressional staff from their own states. The goal of the event is to educate Congress about the importance of research in materials science, engineering, and manufacturing and the need to increase federal R&D funding. Don’t miss this vital opportunity to emphasize the long-term importance of science, engineering, and technology through meetings with congressional decision makers.
The Congressional Visits Day event will begin with an opening reception in the Capitol View Room at Credit Union House, 4 – 7 p.m. on Monday, April 18. A catered reception will be held with light hors d’ouevres. Speakers will be invited to talk on subjects related to CVD to prepare students for their visits on Tuesday, April 19.
As an added bonus, the USA Science and Engineering Festival is happening the weekend before CVD on Saturday and Sunday (April 16 and 17) at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington DC. The festival is free and open to the public. Approximately 350,000 people usually attend to see the cool STEM exhibits. Some of the exhibitors include Lockheed Martin, Chevron, NASA, and NSF. In addition, Will Wheaton, They Might Be Giants, and Michio Kaku are some big names who will be there, too, so if you plan to attend CVD, it might be worth your time to come a day or two earlier to check out this festival on the weekend.
CVD registration is closed for 2016.
If you have questions about the event, contact Tricia Freshour, ACerS liaison to the Material Advantage student program.
Making Congressional Appointments
Students and faculty, participating in CVD on April 18 and 19, will be making appointments with their representatives in Washington DC. This must be done prior to departure for CVD. There are three ways to make contact for a meeting: phone calls, email, and some members of congress have online request forms on their websites. The “scheduler” is the key point of contact when making Congressional appointments. Here is a helpful link to find Senate and Representative contact information: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/.
Participants should provide information about who they are and why they would like to meet with a staff member. A draft email (which could also be used as a template for a phone call) is shown below.
Thank you for your service to our state, (Name your state), and for taking the time to consider this request for a brief visit with you or your staff. I am a student in materials science and engineering attending ______ University (in your Congressional district?—mention if true). I am from (your Congressional district?—mention if true) and am writing to introduce myself in the hope that I might be able to schedule a time where I can visit your offices and discuss the importance of your support for education and research in physical sciences and engineering to the long term employment outlook of myself, our state, and our Nation.
I want to let you know about the upcoming Congressional Visits Day (CVD) for the Material Advantage Student Program on April 19.
Several of my fellow students and I (can mention number here) would like to take this opportunity to visit with you (or one of your staff) about the importance of continuing your strong support for education and research in our chosen field. Through your votes on funding for NSF, DOE-Office of Science and ARPA-e, NIST, and other critical programs, you can continue the advancement of science and technology at our university that depends on this funding, now more than ever. As students who want to work hard in jobs that boost the advanced materials and technology advantage of our country’s manufacturing sector, we sincerely appreciate your helping hand for our classroom learning and laboratory experiences.
I hope to convince you or reinforce your belief that the best hope of maintaining the United States of America’s technological edge over the rest of the world is for the continued support of funding in all areas of scientific research and technological advancement. I would really appreciate it if you would be willing to fit me into your busy schedule so that we can have this conversation about this critical issue.
Webinar Training Sessions
Material Advantage organizes webinar training sessions for participants. On the webinar, CVD participants will be given preparation materials that have an emphasis on funding for the materials science and engineering field. The training will also include general tips on organizing your visits, rules for congressional meetings, and how Congress works. In addition to the prep materials, participants will be required to let the facilitators know who they have contacted and gotten a response from, what their congressional schedule is so far, and who is still pending.
Watch this space for details regarding upcoming training webinars for the 2016 CVD.
Know where you are going with this handy map of Capitol Hill.
When you’re active in a Material Advantage student chapter, you gain access to activities that can help you launch a successful career, whether you’re pursuing metallurgy, ceramics, materials science and engineering, or a related engineering or scientific field. Here are a few examples:
Attend a technical presentation by a leading local or national expert. After the presentation, stick around to meet and talk to the presenter and other members.
During guided tours of their facilities, see first hand how companies put technology to work. Plant tours enable you to learn more about a particular material or process from the people who work with it every day.
Meet and network with other members of your chapter (as well as other societies) at special events. Popular chapter events are Awards Night, which recognizes individual accomplishments; Guest Night, a social meeting to recruit new members and meet new contacts; and Career Night, held for high school students to introduce them to careers in the materials industry.
By communicating frequently with your local ACerS Section, AIST Member Chapter, ASM Chapter or TMS Section, technical meetings and educational seminars can be jointly sponsored by both groups. This is an ideal opportunity for you to meet and network with materials professionals who can help you find your way in the local job market. We encourage student chapters to use our suggested program calendar as a guide for effectively planning chapter activities during the academic year.