Symposium ZZ: Transforming Education in Materials Science and Engineering

Transforming Education in Materials Science and Engineering

The challenge to the Materials Science and Engineering community is to build a curriculum that provides knowledge in a diverse range of topics but, at the same time, builds cohesion within the discipline.  This symposium is focused on broadening student access, which is closely tied to building a diverse work-force and contributing to the development of a coherent education strategy in materials science.  Therefore, the four core symposium topics are defined as follows:

  1. Materials Education Research:  This is the core session for the development, improvement, and assessment of education and classroom strategies.  The development and presentation of effective strategies on the integration of learners with disabilities is closely tied to the forum on work-force diversity (topic four).
  2. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) in Materials Education:  This session looks at student education in and beyond the traditional classroom.  How can we give students the best possible start into their professional life?  How can we mentor and lead students to a successful career?  This session includes the “electronic classroom,” which can be used to reach students in rural areas, or those who are already in the work force and want to continue their education.
  3. Materials Science Education Policy and Curricular Mandates:  This session is devoted to “making the teacher.”  Teachers play an unquestionably pivotal role in education.  Having the best teachers is imperative to producing the best students, though we rarely think about this aspect in education.  The focus of this session will be on how we can form, recruit, and support a new generation of teachers.
  4. (Future) Work-Force Diversity and its Impact on Education:  This session is planned as a forum with short presentations on the key objectives and obstacles in recruitment and retention of a broader and more diverse group of students.  The discussion will include best practices in improving recruitment and retention of a diverse set of groups that are typically underrepresented in STEM fields.

Session topics will include:

  • Materials education research
  • Scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) in materials education
  • Materials science education policy and curricular mandates
  • (Future) work-force diversity and its impact on education

A tutorial complementing this symposium is tentatively planned.  Further information will be included in the MRS Program that will be available online in January.

Invited speakers include:

Douglas Dunham (Univ. of Wisconsin, Eau Claire), Noah Finkelstein (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder), James Groves (Univ. of Virginia), Cathy Lyons (Pennsylvania State Univ.), Deb Newberry (Dakota County Technical College), Julie Nucci (Cornell Univ.), Jeff Shield (Univ. of Nebraska), Timothy Spuck (Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, GK-12 Program).

Symposium Organizers

Elizabeth Kupp
The Pennsylvania State University
Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
10 Steidle Bldg.
University Park, PA 16802
Tel 814-863-5540, Fax 814-865-2917  

Ana-Rita Mayol
University of Puerto Rico
Institute of Functional Nanomaterials
Resource Center for Science and Engineering
Dept. of Chemistry
Rio Piedras Campus
San Juan, PR 00931-3334
Tel 787-764-8369, Fax 787-756-7717  

Marlann Patterson
University of Wisconsin-Stout
Dept. of Physics,
410th Ave. E
Menomonie, WI 54751
Tel 715-232-2153, Fax 715-232-1437  

Petra Reinke
University of Virginia
Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
395 McCormick Rd.
Charlottesville, VA 22901
Tel 434-924-7203, Fax 434-982-5660 

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