ZZ3: Materials Education Research
Chair: Marlann Patterson
- Wednesday AM, April 11, 2012
- Marriott, Yerba Buena, Salon 5
8:30 AM - *ZZ3.1
Integrating Research into the Undergraduate Materials Science Curriculum
Students in undergraduate science disciplines usually spend most of their education learning science content with very little time learning the process of science. Student-faculty research projects are one of the ways that students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire get first-hand experience with the process of science. But these semester or year-long collaborations are time intensive for faculty so they cannot be required of all students. In order to allow more students to experience the process of science, the Materials Science Program at UW-Eau Claire is integrating research into the curriculum. In specific upper level lab courses, the experiences are tailored to coordinate with faculty research goals. Students learn about the research question being investigated, how to acquire data, and how to interpret data for situations where the â€œcorrectâ€ answer is not known in advance. A particular challenge is to define aspects of research projects that can be compartmentalized into a viable curriculum experience.
9:00 AM - ZZ3.2
Assessment of Student Outcomes from REU Program Using GPA Tracking
For most of the last ten years, James Madison University has hosted REU programs in both chemistry and materials research. These programs each fund 10 students per year but are broadened to include all undergraduate research students as REU-affiliated students who also participate fully in the program. Thus, the programs actually serve more than 50 students per summer including not only external students but also a significant fraction of students from JMU. Because of this, we have been able to draw from university records to track the GPA of REU students in the fall semester as compared to the spring semester. By evaluating all student records for physics and chemistry majors from 2002 to present, we have developed a data set including 1168 student-summers from 933 unique students. Of these, 172 were REU participants. Among the REU participants, we found an average gain of 0.044 in the student's fall GPA compared to their spring GPA. For non-REU students the GPA change was -0.005. This effect was slightly more pronounced for female students compared to male. Separating students by class year, we found that the GPA increase was most significant for rising sophomores and least significant for rising seniors. These data can be seen to confirm the idea that younger students benefit from summer research experiences and improve their academic performance, possibly leading to better retention.
9:15 AM - ZZ3.3
Problem Based Learning Strategies in Materials Selection and Design
In order to help our final year mechanical engineering students become deep and active learners who have transited from being passive note takers to researchers and lifelong learners, we present our experience gained on introducing problem based learning (PBL) into the final year materials selection and design curriculum. Analysis of the solutions presented by forty students, to four problems on materials selection and design, reveals that the styles of problem solving strategies adopted by individual students differs from one another. Moreover, it was observed that students who adopted the following problem solving strategies: problem definition, problem analysis, solution planning, implementing the planned solution, and evaluating the solution were able to solve the given problems successfully. Comparison of the strategies adopted by participants to the solutions presented suggests that a problem solving strategy which may be appropriate for a particular problem context may be unsuitable for others. Results from studentsâ€™ interview show that they claimed to have developed many of the problem solving strategies. Finally, we recommend that PBL should be introduced very early into the engineering curriculum with a view to diagnosing and training individual students in engineering problem solving strategies.
9:30 AM - ZZ3.4
The Effectiveness of Multimedia and Activity-Based Supplemental Teaching Resources in Materials Science Education
Making Stuff is a nationwide education outreach campaign that launched in fall of 2010 and culminated with a four-part television series highlighting materials that are transforming our world. The Center for Research on Interface Structures and Phenomena (CRISP) was among 20 institutions in the country selected to establish a local outreach coalition. The CRISP-led Connecticut Making Stuff Outreach Coalition was created with the goal of targeting two low-performing urban districts in CT (New Haven and Hartford) by using materials science as a vehicle for enhanced scientific literacy. To achieve this, the Coalition hosted public events, demonstrations, professional development workshops, and science cafÃ©s using the turnkey Making Stuff resources but also integrating newly-developed materials science resources such as those developed by high school students in the Amity Science Research Program (SRP) at Amity Regional High School, a partner of the CT Making Stuff Coalition. The students adopted the demonstrations designed by Yale Prof. Ainissa Ramirez (Demoworks: The Fine Art of Materials Science Demonstrations) to create materials science-related educational kits that enrich the existing K-12 curriculum. Over the course of the kit development, the students worked in groups to: master understanding of kit content; create verbal scripts for outreach purposes; design pre- and post- demo activities; utilize and learn new technology skills to create original digital stories; and make lesson plan information accessible on the CRISP website for outreach purposes. A comparative study investigating the integration of supplemental teaching resources in materials science education was developed for the purpose of determining the effectiveness of teaching strategies. Digital stories created by students, excerpts from the Making Stuff documentaries, and student generated kits were used as part of the investigation whereby two 9th grade science classes (n~28) were further divided into two groups. Each participant in the study received one period (50-min) of a traditional lesson on materials science including specific content, vocabulary and a summative assessment. Additionally, half of the students in each class participated in a 50-min supplemental component, e.g. video or activity-based demonstration using aforementioned kits or video snippets, while the other half received more traditional teaching. Pre- and post- evaluations (e.g. open-ended and like-rt questions) were administered to all of the participants. The studentsâ€™ feedback and performance on assessment activities reveal that the use of multimedia and activity-based resources may be a more effective teaching method than traditional curriculum.
9:45 AM -
10:15 AM - ZZ3.5
Investigating the Effect of Targeted Collaborative Exercises and Low Stakes Quizzing on Student Learning Outcomes in a Fundamental Materials Science Engineering Course
Research in engineering and science education has indicated that cooperative learning, consideration of individual student learning styles, low stakes quizzing, and inductive teaching practices are important practices that lead to improved Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). Research is currently being conducted at Western Washington University in a fundamental materials engineering course to understand how the best practices from education research and social and cognitive constructivism can be best implemented within the course and which components of those practices are most important to enhancing learning outcomes. In this course, students also have the opportunity to self-evaluate their basic knowledge, vocabulary, and conceptual knowledge through Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) applications written for smart devices (iPod Touches). This paper describes the new, targeted collaborative learning modules that have been created for the course, the development of the iPod Touch applications, effects of low stakes quizzing, and data collected by course section from Felderâ€™s Index of Learning Styles (ILS). Preliminary results, based upon specific SLOs from traditional test scores, on subjects related to crystallography and mechanical properties, indicate that targeted collaborative learning modules when combined with low stakes quizzes are highly effective. Future work will examine whether the low stakes quizzes can be moved to an on-line format and how the point values associated with the low stakes quizzes affect outcomes. Previous experience in our course indicates that point values on individual quizzes as well opportunities to drop low scores do matter in order to create positive outcomes for students. Preliminary results indicate that both highly motivated students as well as struggling students are supported by the iPod Touch applications, but the use of the devices varies widely by students enrolled in the course. Collaborative work benefits all students, although not all students enjoy the work equally. The data we collected from the ILS shows how highly variable those results can be among course sections and why instructors need to be aware of those differences, but we have not been able to correlate ILS data to specific outcomes versus inductive approach. As measured by outcomes on traditional exams, design based, collaboratively completed modules, appear to be superior to traditional homework problems in building scaffolds to new knowledge. Future investigations will probe how more personalizable instruction that allows for individual student differences might be accomplished with ICT applications, especially for large lecture classes.
10:30 AM - ZZ3.6
Use of Concept Maps to Support Student Learning in a Material Science Curriculum
Concepts are tools with which we are able to understand and analyze the world. When learning concepts, students should be encouraged to link the studied concepts to their prior knowledge. When students come to Material Science as a non-major the concept-rich materials content is a challenge. What is the best solution to this challenge? Many types of innovative teaching strategies and materials have been created in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines over time, but only a limited number have been widely adapted. Most classes in undergraduate engineering are still taught via lectures or the "transmission" mode of teaching, which has been shown to be the least effective method for student learning. This is due, in part, to the fact that there are major problems related to "ease of implementation" of innovative teaching and learning strategies and materials in STEM, and particularly so for engineering. The concept map has been found by other disciplines to be highly effective for student learning. The map is needed for a Material science course because a typical course introduces more than 400 new terms (~15/class) and more than 100 new symbols and units (~5/class). The course must make connections with macroscopic properties and processing of materials to their structural features at different length scales. The state of current materials texts offer limited opportunities for students to engage in their own learning. While there may be some exceptions many current materials texts use limited real-world contexts in content, and if they do attempt examples, many are in dire need of refreshing for the 21st century. Finally we must recognize that most students are not reading the book. For this reason a researcher at a large engineering school has been working with graduate and undergraduate students to create a bank for resources. Concept mapping, among many other things, allows teachers and students to organize concepts and determine the relations between concepts. This permits a teacher or student to work with concepts and propositions as opposed to the rote memorization of facts. Concept maps are both evocative (evoke prior knowledge) and generative (generate or construct new knowledge). The particular tools being presented are multimodal visual outlines (created using Inspiration software) that show relationships between topics and include examples of real-world engineering components (such as a bicycle tire, frame and headlight lens) to contextualize conceptual topics covered on any given map. In the paper implementation of the maps will be described along with an assessment on how students use them and their impact on student understanding.
ZZ4: Work Force Diversity and its Impact on Education
Chair: Petra Reinke
- Wednesday PM, April 11, 2012
- Marriott, Yerba Buena, Salon 5
1:30 PM - *ZZ4.1
Harnessing Instructional Design and Information Technology for Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Within the United States, there is great debate about the place of modern information technology (IT) in higher education learning environments. Indiscriminate use of such technology is undoubtedly unwarranted. However, thoughtful IT selection that considers how people learn and extract value from their use of technology is exceedingly justified as it has the potential to benefit higher education in the classroom and beyond. Thoughtful IT selection for engineering education affords opportunities to enhance the explanation of selected engineering concepts, motivate deeper thought and active learning, teach modern engineering practice, increase global engagement, create and strengthen learning communities, and diversify the engineering student population. Examples of such opportunities in materials science education will be presented. Realization of these opportunities requires that faculty receive instructional (re)design support that enables them to enhance their use of technology, grow as educators and researchers, and position students as active learners rather than passive listeners. Realization also requires that students be equipped and trained to use the appropriate IT tool set. As the place of IT in higher education learning environments is carefully considered in light of how people learn, it becomes apparent that instructional (re)design must focus upon the roll of IT not only in the formal class setting but also in its facilitation of informal learning interactions (among students and between students and faculty) and access to co-curricular university resources (like engineering career services). As the overall roll of IT is considered, the magnitude of the opportunity afforded in engineering education begins to come into focus. Over the past decade, the power of computer hardware and software has continued to increase rapidly while the price of such systems has remained constant or even decreased. Simultaneously, high speed internet service (in both hard-wired and wireless form) has continued to expand its reach around the globe. Thus, it is now possible to envision a vibrant engineering education environment in which knowledge flows to and from many locations around the globe in real time, enriching the experience of both faculty and students. While the opportunities for IT to transform modern materials science and engineering education are significant, the addition of technology to the educational environment adds complexity and potentially weak links that can disrupt knowledge transfer and learning. Any implementation of modern IT into higher education learning environments must carefully consider the full infrastructure needed for successful, reliable learning beyond the traditional classroom.
2:00 PM - ZZ4.2
Material Science in Nontraditional Environments
Due to the need of more students in the (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) STEM area of studies. New and innovative ways of attracting students is required for sustaining and inceasing technological advancements in the United Statees. We established a laboratory in an urban connumity center in the City of Huntsville, Al. The facility is situated in a lower income housing environment. This format allow students from nontraditioanl backgrounds with easy access to a supervised science enviornment. The students were introduced to crystal structures, material properties and material characterization. We will report lessons learned, student deveopment and community reaction.
2:15 PM - ZZ4.3
A Multi-institution Collaborative Approach to a Productive Undergraduate Research Program in Material Science
In this presentation we describe our approach to a student-centered interdisciplinary research program in material science. We started our careers by developing individual research programs at three different undergraduate institutions: attracting external funding, building laboratories, and publishing with student co-authors. However, since tenure we have found enormous advantages for ourselves and for our students from working collaboratively. For over a decade we have worked together on a materials research program - synthesis and spectroscopy of rare earth-based sol-gel glasses. Our students have learned valuable lab techniques and have applied their knowledge of chemistry, physics, and numerical analysis to a productive interdisciplinary research program. Research university scientists benefit greatly from the support of working in a group with colleagues in the same field; at 4-year colleges we are often more isolated. By forming a research group, we have overcome the isolation of being the only spectroscopist on campus. We have found numerous advantages of a joint approach to research for faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs), including: 1) Enhanced student experience. Research students have an opportunity to work at other campuses with faculty and students from other colleges. 2) Increased productivity. By jointly pursuing a research program with shared leadership responsibilities, we are more effective in combining an active scholarly agenda with teaching responsibilities. 3) Expanded resources. Research labs at the individual institutions have different equipment, and by combining resources there is more experimental capability for the group. Student experiences are broadened by the opportunity to work with equipment not available at their home institutions. We have collaborated on all aspects of the research, from planning experiments to writing publications and grant reports. Our laboratories and research backgrounds complement each other so that, combining our resources, we can pursue a multi-pronged approach to our research. We plan for experiments to take place in the labs best equipped to do the specific measurements. The internet provides the ideal setting for group meetings. Student participation has been quite extensive in our collaboration: over 30 undergraduate research students in the last 5 years, including one Apker Award finalist and one NSF Graduate Research Fellow. Our collaborative approach has attracted external funding and has been productive â€“ 9 referred papers, 11 conference presentations, and x student theses in the last 5 years. A web site that highlights student accomplishments can be found at: http://www.phy.davidson.edu/FacHome/dmb/RESolGelGlass/RESGG.htm.
2:30 PM - ZZ4.4
The Role of Energy Clubs in Enhancing Student Education beyond the Traditional Classroom
Student energy clubs such as the Berkeley Energy Resources Collaborative (BERC) provide an unparalleled opportunity to engage students outside of traditional avenues such as coursework of and research. BERC provides an ideal forum to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration, and give students promising options to start into their professional life. Through programming such as the Cleantech to Market class, the BERC Energy Symposium, and outreach programs such as Students for Environmental Energy Development (SEED), BERC provides opportunities to mentor and lead students to a successful career. BERC involves a broad spectrum of members within the Berkeley campus community. One example is the Cleantech to Market course, created by BERC, which pairs science and engineering graduate students with MBA students to assess the market potential of cutting edge energy technologies developed at UC Berkeley and LBNL. BERC, as a student organization, was uniquely situated to develop this class to facilitate cross-disciplinary skills transfer outside traditional department boundaries. The BERC Energy Symposium is an annual gathering of students, faculty, and professionals with the common theme of addressing energy issues. The symposium is organized entirely by students and the process of putting together a panel forces the student organizers to think about the core issues to address within a specific field. Through interactions, networking, and panel discussions, the symposium prepares students well for their future careers and continues to engage people in the workforce who want to continue their education. SEED is a K-12 educational outreach program that has been working with local elementary students for three years and is currently developing a high school outreach program. SEED programs offer graduate students the opportunity to practice teaching, presentation, and communication skills which will be critical for their future careers. Additionally, SEED serves to enhance the diversity of future generations of scientists. The program partners with urban schools in Berkeley and Oakland which serve a diverse population of students and gives the K-12 students an opportunity to interact with active graduate student research scientists. In summary, BERC demonstrates how engagement of student organizations can lead to unique personal and professional development opportunities beyond the classroom and laboratory for materials scientists. Using documentation from BERC programs and events, this model could be replicated at other universities to harness student creativity across disciplines by empowering students to explore and develop the opportunities that most interest them. In addition BERC serves as a prime example of how institutional support of student efforts can help them flourish and create novel learning opportunities.
2:45 PM - ZZ4.5
Informal Science Education: Materials Science Education from a National Laboratory
This presentation highlights strategies for K-20 teaching and learning about materials research in informal settings. The National High Magnetic Field Laboratoryâ€™s Center for Integrating Research & Learning is in a unique position to conduct programs that reach K-20 students and teachers. As part of a national laboratory the Center provides the infrastructure around which informal education programs are implemented. This includes the Centerâ€™s nationally-recognized programming as well as facilitating scientistsâ€™ educational outreach in the community. One signature program, Research Experiences for Undergraduates, focuses on encouraging women and other underrepresented groups to pursue STEM careers and has reached approximately 200 students many of whom have pursued careers in research as well as academia. The Research Experiences for Teachers program has provided internships for over 150 teachers; the Center also reaches over 10,000 students each year through school and community outreach. Success of informal education programs relies heavily on establishing strong mentoring relationships between scientists and K-20 students and teachers. The Centerâ€™s success at maintaining diverse programming that transforms how materials education is presented beyond the traditional classroom is the focus for this presentation.
3:00 PM -
3:30 PM - *ZZ4.6
Workforce Diversity and Its Impact on Education
This presentation will address issues related to "growing your own" students and faculty. It will include descriptions of programs that have been developed and implemented by the College of Earth and Mineral Science's Office of Educational Equity at Penn State to work with students from grade school through high school to help develop a literacy about the offerings in Material Science and Engineering. The idea is to identify potential populations and help those populations become interested in STEM disciplines.
4:00 PM - ZZ4.7
Gender Aspects of Academic Dishonesty among University Students in Sweden
Cheating among university students is a serious problem and we believe that most university teachers think that measures against academic dishonesty should be prioritized. It is the disciplinary boards of the universities that judges in disciplinary matters and the sentences that they are authorized to impose are restricted to warnings and temporary suspensions, typically one to four months. According to the Swedish statistics, the number of disciplinary board sentences has increased significantly from last year. The purpose of this investigation is to identify and discuss gender aspects on academic dishonesty. We have based our study on statistics from the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education and on information requested from the disciplinary boards of seven Swedish universities for the year 2010. The information we achieved ranged from material covering only the numbers of male and female students that were warned or suspended, to the protocols and decisions from the disciplinary boards. First of all, women are less prevalent in disciplinary matters, which could indicate that women are less prone to cheating: 42% of the students with disciplinary sentences are women, while 59% of all the full time students are women. This is in agreement with most of the research literature, even if it has been reported that women can cheat significantly more than men if the risk of getting caught is low . In order to find out whether the severity of the penalty for cheating is gender biased, we have calculated the ratio of suspended/warned for male and female students. Among the investigated universities we see no trend in this ratio. In some universities female students have a higher ratio and in some universities male students have a higher ratio. Considering that women tend to get less severe penalties for crime than men do, when comparing the same crime  â€“ and on the other hand that women are sometimes described in more hostile terms than men when evaluating professors , we had expected to see gender bias here. It is, however, relieving to find that the disciplinary system seems fair concerning severity of the penalty for male and female students. Finally, we are carrying out a discourse analysis of disciplinary board protocols where we divide the accused studentsâ€™ responses in three categories: (i) didnâ€™t understand the rules, (ii) donâ€™t admit any intent to cheat, and (iii) admit cheating. Preliminary results indicate that female students are overrepresented in category (ii), which means that they are more often sentenced even if they deny. Since the possibly not guilty students are to be found in category (ii), this finding suggests that female students are at higher risk than male students of being falsely convicted.  J. S. Leming, Journal of Educational Research, 74 (1980) 83-87  A. S. Ahola, Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 16 (2009) S90-S100  J. Sprague and K. Massoni, Sex Roles, 53 (2005) 779-793
4:15 PM - ZZ4.8
Development of an Integrated Research, Curricular, Historically-informed and Extracurricular Learning Environment
The faculty of the Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T) have developed a unique integrated undergraduate program. This program integrates research, extracurricular activities, and outreach experiences. Common threads throughout the program are an introduction to the artistic and historical background of Metallurgical Engineering. These activities are designed to develop aspects of the student not traditionally included in engineering curricula, and also to help students understand Metallurgical Engineering through kinesthetic learning. These programs are similar to those envisioned by the National Academy of Engineering in response to their view of the changing needs of engineering, These are described in two books published by the National Research Council and present a vision for and a prescription to educate future engineers. A major focus of the program has been using blacksmithing activities as a way in which curricular, extracurricular and outreach activities can be integrated. We began with a weekly blacksmithing â€œhammer-inâ€ activity open to all students at SDSM&T. Starting from this platform, laboratories were added to the curriculum in which the effects of blacksmithing on various material properties were investigated. In addition, departmental students and faculty developed a portable blacksmithing laboratory, which has been taken to regional schools and reservations to reach out to students and to invigorate their appreciation for STEM education. The success of these activities led to their incorporation into â€œBack to the Futureâ€ a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) site that focused on understanding new technologies through their historical antecedents. The SDSM&T students that participated in this REU used this experience as part of their junior/senior design courses. This program has increased enrollment in the department and has led to better learning outcomes for the students.