Program - Symposium ZZ: Transforming Education in Materials Science and Engineering

2012 MRS Spring Meeting logo

2012 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit

April 9-13, 2012San Francisco, California
Download Session Locator (.pdf)2012-04-10  

Symposium ZZ

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Symposium Organizers

  • Elizabeth Kupp, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Ana-Rita Mayol, University of Puerto Rico Institute of Functional Nanomaterials
  • Marlann Patterson, University of Wisconsin-Stout
  • Petra Reinke, University of Virginia

    ZZ1: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) in Materials Education

    • Chair: Elizabeth Kupp
    • Tuesday AM, April 10, 2012
    • Marriott, Yerba Buena, Salon 5

    8:30 AM - *ZZ1.1

    Modeling Real Life with Senior Lab

    Julie  A  Nucci1.

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    During the course of an undergraduate degree, students typically focus more on learning content than on its application. A laboratory course format is a perfect vehicle for students to practice applying their knowledge, as well as other important skills, such as experimental design, experimental skill development, data analysis, effective writing, and working in a group environment. While these skills are theoretically a goal of every lab course, running the same cookbook style lab activities year after year greatly impairs the effectiveness of the course to actually hone these skills in students, especially when previous lab reports are readily available and the instructor knows the answers before the students ever touch the hardware. A new one-semester senior lab course is currently being developed in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Cornell University, during which students get a limited, but authentic group research experience since the final results from one semester becomes the starting point for the next semester’s lab group. The task of this new group of students is to digest the work of the previous semester, determine in which direction they want to take this research, and chart their course for the semester. Lectures and canned lab periods are replaced by weekly group meetings, during which the instructor mentors the research group, oversees their work distribution, assesses their progress, and helps them to find resources and/or experts for consultation. Scheduling of lab time is completely up to the students. Students learn the importance of good notebook skills since they immediately discover the difficulties created when the previous group didn’t adequately document their work. Research infrastructure funds are available for the course, so students also conduct a cost/benefit analysis to assess when it makes sense to pay for a more sophisticated analysis. Evaluation results from two semesters of this new lab course format reveal that students greatly value and enjoy charting their own course for their research and embrace taking on this additional responsibility. Students find this course carries a slightly higher workload than other courses, but also find it significantly more valuable. This talk will summarize the course development and detail best practices for implementing such a program.

    9:00 AM - ZZ1.2

    The Creation of a Flexible, Innovative Curriculum in Materials Science and Engineering

    Gary  L  Messing1, Allen  Kimel1, Christopher  Muhlstein1, David  J  Green1, James  Runt1, Zi-Kui  Liu1, Elizabeth  R  Kupp1.

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    After more than two years of effort, the faculty of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State has transformed its undergraduate curriculum. The current program was reviewed with three objectives in mind; (1) increase scientific rigor across the entire spectrum of materials, (2) increase flexibility by updating and increasing the number of possible areas of specialization, and (3) improve curriculum delivery efficiency. To increase materials rigor, students will now be required to take both inorganic and organic chemistry courses as prerequisites for Introduction to Inorganic Materials and Introduction to Organic Materials courses taught in the sophomore year, in addition to a Solid State Materials course. To better inform students about the power of computational materials science and engineering, we have created a required course of that name. Flexibility will be increased as students can design study specializations on topics such as energy materials, electronic materials, biomedical materials, materials science, and business and materials, in addition to traditional material specializations such as ceramics, metallurgy and polymers. A new materials selection course is designed to increase materials problem solving skills including sustainability assessment. To increase teamwork opportunities and to develop team skills, seniors will have the option of working on a team design project with other engineering students in the Learning Factory as an alternative to the traditional senior research thesis. Finally, an emphasis is being placed on weaving sustainability into the department’s course and laboratory offerings, including the introduction of a new course titled Materials Sustainability and the Environment. The changes were enthusiastically received during a preliminary polling of current MatSE students. The new curriculum promises to create an even better materials degree that prepares our graduates for the modern materials world.

    9:15 AM - ZZ1.3

    Expanding Nanoscience Research through the Adaptation of Immersive Environments for Effective Visualization and Learning

    Claudia  Flores1, Teenie  Matlock1, Lilian  P.  Davila2.

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    Spatial intelligence has proven to be a determining factor in the success of nanoscience students specific to their visual ability to perceive nanoscale structures in three dimensions. The IDEAS project involves the use of specialized visualization equipment based on immersive environment technology; it is a fully interactive system that will be utilized for education and research in Materials Science and Engineering at UC Merced. In order to determine the effectiveness of immersive systems on nanoscience learning, a pilot project was conducted for several weeks with undergraduate students, which showed the success of immersive systems in the nanoscience learning process. Overall, immersive environments provided complete control in the construction and analysis of nanostructures, providing more task relevant information and facilitating depth perception. Successful task completion and success depended on an individual’s reasoning, planning and execution of motor actions. To offer a better understanding of nanomaterials, the IDEAS project is currently being expanded to allow accelerated simulations for materials science research. It is important to integrate these new applications into materials science courses at the undergraduate level in order to strengthen materials science education, recruit and retain future students, and to adapt modern technologies for future materials science educators. The expansion of the IDEAS project will rely on the flexibility of this system to serve as a research tool as well as an innovative resource for science education. To adapt the system and help engage students early in engineering research, our research group gathered concise and accessible technical documentation geared towards education of novice users, based on past Cognitive Science research. This research work involves developing educational resources for effective nanoscience learning through the design of audio/visual manuals. The manuals are being created using commercial software to produce interactive electronic books that will be accessible to students through E-book readers. These educational materials will serve as educational resources directed towards training undergraduates for research. During the planning of the audio/visual manuals, we discovered that it is imperative to provide adequate educational tools as well as efficient guiding principles for the large number of visual, inductive, and active learners in general engineering education. This research project is interdisciplinary, combining fundamental concepts from materials science and cognitive science, particularly project-based learning, active processing, overloading, and the unreliability of natural language among other topics. This investigation will serve society by enhancing materials science research and education, as well as influencing other engineering fields, chemistry, computer science, and cognitive science.

    9:30 AM - ZZ1.4

    Material Science in Undergraduate Education

    Cydale  Smith1, Satilmis  Budak2 1, Marcus  Pugh1, Claudiu  Muntele1.

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    Experimental laboratory experiences are needed to supplement classroom lectures at the undergraduate level in our universities. This is espically true for specialized areas such as material science . Therefore, we have implemented material science applications as part of a senior project course for electrical engineers. The focus is to provide an interactive hands on experience in nanofabrication and characterization of nanostrcutres. The studenst are assigned to a research project and mentored in performing research in a laboratory setting. Students are requried to support and lead specific task. We document student involvment and development during the course.

    9:45 AM -


    Show Abstract

    10:15 AM - *ZZ1.5

    Nanomaterials Education Curriculum and Content and the Career Connection

    Deb  Newberry1.

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    Materials science researchers and engineers have been working at the nanoscale for centuries, yet this long term relationship is often unacknowledged. As nanoscale materials concepts enter course and curriculum content it is critical to link content subjects, depth and practice with competencies related to industry segments. An 8 year iterative process of nanoscale content creation, education, industry validation and modification will be reported. Included will be examples, lessons learned and the critical correlation between educational content and industry requirements covered.

    10:45 AM - ZZ1.6

    An Approach to Integrated Photovoltaics Education

    Jesse  Engel1, Sebastien  Lounis1, Jessy  Rivest1.

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    With large investment from both the public and private sectors in recent years, the worldwide photovoltaics industry has seen a dramatic boom in growth. To meet the significant price reductions required to make PV technologies grid competitive, reductions must be made both from the technology perspective and from a policy and regulation/permitting perspective. Here we detail a class offered at UC Berkeley for the past 6 years which aspires to teach students from both perspectives, incorporating both device physics of PV and guest lectures and projects from leading members of the industrial community.

    11:00 AM - ZZ1.7

    What is the Role of an Electrolyte in an Electrochemical Cell?

    Cristian  L.  Menendez1, Liz  Diaz1, Ana-Rita  Mayol1.

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    A general chemistry experiment has been adapted in which electrochemical principles in fuel cells are applied to the curriculum, thus bringing research into the classroom. It is well documented that students struggle in understanding redox reactions, in particular when applied to an electrochemical cell even though when there are only three basic concepts needed to analyze these energy devices: anode, cathode and the electrolyte. In the proposed experiment, undergraduate students will explore the role on an electrolyte in an electrochemical cell. Inquiry based methods will be used to introduce the experiment. Explanation of fundamental electrochemical concepts involved in fuel cells will be introduced to the students’ pre, post laboratory activities and experimental results discussions. The lesson for the experiment “role of an electrolyte in an electrochemical cell” is planned to improve students’ technological skills and application of knowledge acquired in daily life. The battery will be made using household materials: zinc, copper and filter paper soaked in different electrolyte solutions. Students will correlate the voltage of the cells with the substances being used in the experiment and will classify these as strong electrolyte, weak electrolyte or non electrolyte. A variety of assessment tools will be designed and incorporated during the experience to probe students understanding in the main topics and identify the struggles during their learning process.

    11:15 AM - ZZ1.8

    From Bonds to Bands: A Java Applet for Exploring Energy Levels in Many Atom Systems

    Scott  Paulson1, Brian  Augustine2, Jon  Wyrick1, Christopher  Flint1.

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    As part of our introductory materials science course we typically assign projects in which students are asked to produce an educational demonstration or activity. In one such project a JAVA based "Schrodinger Equation Solver" was developed. This project has since been incorporated in our course to show the relationship between single atom energy levels, bonding and anti-bonding states in a diatomic molecules, and energy bands and bandgaps in many particle systems. Recently, we have replaced lectures on the solution of the Kronig-Penney potential with a discovery based module where students use the applet to explore phenomena such as the dependence of the HOMO-LUMO gap on the number of atoms in a 1-D atomic chain.In this presentation we will share our applet and how it can be used to illustrate several physical phenomena relating quantum mechanics to electronic materials at a level appropriate for an introductory level materials science audience.

    ZZ2: Pre-College Education and Outreach

    • Chair: Ana-Rita Mayol
    • Tuesday PM, April 10, 2012
    • Marriott, Yerba Buena, Salon 5

    1:30 PM - *ZZ2.1

    Education and Outreach at UNL’s MRSEC and Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience

    Jeff  Shield1 2.

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    The NSF-funded Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at UNL, “Quantum and Spin Phenomena in Nanomagnetic Structures” (QSPINS), is actively involved in a number of education and outreach activities. These include Research Experience for Teachers (RET) for area middle and high school teachers, and a unique Professor/Student Pair program involving faculty from primarily undergraduate institutions and one (or more) of his or her undergraduate students. The faculty and students are teamed together with a MRSEC scientist during the summer. The research is continued beyond the summer at the home institution. This program offers unique opportunities for both professors, usually early-career, and students to develop research relationships that can (and have) extended for years. Area teachers involved with the RET program get actively involved in research programs, and have also developed tools to integrate materials-related research and concepts into the middle or high school classroom. Faculty invest as well by visiting the classrooms of these teachers. The NSF also has supported a REU site through the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience that enlarges the undergraduate cohort and effectively leverages both the MRSEC and REU site to enrich the undergraduate research experience. The MRSEC also co-sponsors a “Women in Physics” conference each year to provide opportunities for networking and relationship building. This talk will share specific successes and education/outreach tools developed by faculty, students and teachers to broaden the appeal of materials science to middle, high, and college students.

    2:00 PM - ZZ2.2

    Teaching Materials Science beyond the Classroom: ``Materials Which Surround Us''

    Laura  Fornaro1, Heinkel  Bentos Pereira1, Ivana  Aguiar2, Maria  Perez Barthaburu2, Ismael  Noguerol2, Jesus  Castro2, Santiago  Kroger2, Ana  Noguera1, Mauricio  Rodriguez Chialanza2, Natalia  Sasen2, Marisa  Arriola2, José  Abella2.

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    Materials science has never been an important field in most countries of South America, and Uruguay is not an exception. However, in recent years there have been changes in the country which suggest that it is sufficiently mature to undertake materials science education. In order to help to accomplish this aim, and to awake general interest on the subject, we have implemented the workshop: “Materials which surround us”. Such workshops are of about four hours long, and we run it on 10 schools and youth centers in about 10 Uruguayan cities. The workshop includes from 5 to 10 experimental works, which children and young people perform guided by young researchers, about topics such as crystal growth, polymers, glass and ceramic preparation, ferrofluids, optical fibers, smart materials, and liquid crystals. The experiments selection took into account several factors, such as to include not only traditional materials but to emphasize current ones, and to show from research to technical applications, particularly those that children can find surrounding them in their current life. Informative and experimental guides at scholar level were prepared for using during the workshop, and to be provided to teachers at schools and centers for further practical work. For this purpose, experimental kits were supplied to schools as well. Student previous knowledge, as far as the benefit of the activities on their materials science understanding and their interest in science and technology after the workshop, were evaluated. Results show the workshop as a very promising tool for increasing science and technology public understanding and interest.

    2:15 PM - ZZ2.3

    New Cancer Therapeutics Based on Carbon Nanotubes: A Summer Training Institute for Alabama Black Belt Middle School Teachers

    Curtis  Shannon1, Virginia  Davis2, Christopher  Easley1.

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    The twofold aims of this project are to increase the academic achievement of Alabama Black Belt middle school students in mathematics and science and to attract increasing numbers of students to STEM disciplines by enhancing the knowledge base and teaching skills of their classroom teachers. Teacher training summer institutes focused on curriculum development at the interface between nanotechnology and biological science have been held the past two summers. Our program attempts to enhance the existing middle school science curriculum and allow students and teachers the ability to conduct experiments, analyze data and better understand issues associated with nano-biology. The initial modules were geared towards students and teachers in grades 7-8, although, individual exercises may also be adaptable to higher education level course of study and eventually incorporated into developing higher education curriculum in nano-science in the future. Our curriculum design process will be both collaborative and data-driven; that is, content and activities will be developed by middle school teachers, scientists, and engineers working as members of a team, using feedback from a range of assessment tools developed and implemented by education researchers. In this paper, we describe our experiences to date, including a discussion of preliminary assessment results.

    2:30 PM -


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    3:00 PM - ZZ2.4

    Collaborative Preparation of K-12 Teachers and Graduate Students in Nanoscience Research and Education

    Myron  Williams1, Drew  Kohlhorst2, James  L  Reed1, Ishrat  Khan1, Pat  Marsteller2, Jordan  Rose2.

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    A 2010 Report to the President from the Council of Advisors on Science and Technology calls for “research and development to create well-designed and validated examples of comprehensive, integrated instructional materials” for K-12 education. The Center for Functional Nanoscale Materials (CFNM) at Clark Atlanta University (CAU) and the Center for Science Education at Emory University have partnered in the PRISM (Problems and Research to Integrate Science and Mathematics) program to provide a collaborative experience between CAU graduate students and teachers from the public school systems in the Atlanta area. We believe that this personal and experiential connection between these stakeholders by utilizing a focus on materials education provides substantial and tangible benefits to the process of science education. PRISM aims to stimulate in students thr process of reflection by providing teachers and graduate students (PRISM Fellows) with an opportunity to lead learners in process of generating knowledge. By this direct linkage with pedagogic theory, teaching practice can be subjected to continuous improvement, and it is anticipated that participants will catalyze change in both educational practice and research training. CFNM/PRISM Program ensures that Fellows participate in professional development activities designed to propagate active learning pedagogies during an annual Summer Institute. Teachers are immersed in a content-rich nanoscience research environment, while the graduate fellows assist with instruction in local schools. Thirteen graduate students and seventeen teachers have participated in the CFNM/PRISM Program over five years. Teams were formed comprising a teacher, a CAU faculty researcher and a graduate student. Each of these teams during the summer tackled a nanoscience research problem and developed problem-based learning (PBL) and case-based learning strategies that integrate grade-appropriate science and math content. These cases were implemented in middle school and high school classrooms during the academic year. The program has been preliminarily evaluated using online surveys and interviews focused on participant’s perception of changes in their science process and research skills, instructional attitudes, confidence and skills building. Most striking among our observations is that teachers report an enhancement of their science process skills, including an increased ability to design and implement experiments for their students and a greater ease in talking with their students about scientific research. Correspondingly, graduate students report a better understanding of the importance of mentoring, improved their skills as mentors, and learned to articulate complex scientific concepts to lay audiences. Finally, since the student bodies at CAU and in the Atlanta public school systems are predominantly of African American heritage, the project also contributes to diversification of the scientific enterprise.

    3:15 PM - ZZ2.5

    Training School Teachers on Materials Science

    Laura  Fornaro1, Cristina  Banobre1, Heinkel  Bentos Pereira1, Ivana  Aguiar2, Maria  Perez Barthaburu2, Ana Lia  Noguera1, Andres  Cardenas2, Isabel  Galain2.

    Show Abstract

    Previous studies have concluded that, among other objectives, the integration of materials science into the Uruguayan curricula should include the education of future citizens, to broaden their outlook and make them receptive to today’s technological world. Considering that there are almost not places where people may know about materials science and technology at a popular level in the country, the inclusion of this field in the official education will improve their perspective of science. A recognized problem in the country is that school teachers have little training on science topics, and therefore science subjects are very difficult to be handled at classroom. In order to take actions on achieving the objective mentioned above, we implemented a series of activities to be –at the end- developed in school classrooms. The activities’ content goes through concepts of different kind of materials and their properties, and among them, crystals and their structure (including atom), crystalline layers and their application, in particular solar cells. Experimental work includes touching and recognizing different kind of materials, growing KNO3 crystals, preparing dye sensitized solar cells, and using several devices biased by solar cells. For performing these activities, we first had several meetings with six school teachers, giving them a series of concepts and ideas, and receiving from them questions and fears, but also interesting didactical suggestions. Conceptual as far as experimental tasks sequences were prepared with the school teachers’participation, tested and finally performed at classroom during four instances of two hours each one. Classroom sessions were then evaluated, and written instructive material was prepared for future instances and for new teachers which will join the current first group. In the long term, the actions implemented here will help to raise the level of awareness in Uruguayan society about materials science and technology as far as science as a whole.

    Download Session Locator (.pdf)2012-04-11  

    Symposium ZZ

    Show All Abstracts

    Symposium Organizers

    • Elizabeth Kupp, The Pennsylvania State University
    • Ana-Rita Mayol, University of Puerto Rico Institute of Functional Nanomaterials
    • Marlann Patterson, University of Wisconsin-Stout
    • Petra Reinke, University of Virginia

      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

      Douglas  Dunham1, Marc  McEllistrem1.

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      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 “correct” 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

      Chris  Hughes1, Brian  Augustine2.

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      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

      Eyitayo  Olatunde  Olakanmi1, Joe  B  Agboola1.

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      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 students’ 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

      Deborah  A  Day1, Eeman  Abbasi1, Brian  Liang1, Satish  Bhat1, Jaquelynn  Garofano2 3, Louise  Grober2 3, Christine  Broadbridge2 3.

      Show Abstract

      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 cafés 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 students’ 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 -


      Show Abstract

      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

      Kathleen  L  Kitto1.

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      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 Felder’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

      Cindy  Waters1, Steve  Krause2, Jessica  Triplett2.

      Show Abstract

      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

      James  F.  Groves1.

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      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

      Cydale  Smith1, Satilmis  Budak2, Marcus  Pugh1, Claudiu  Muntele1.

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      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

      Ann  Silversmith1, Daniel  Boye2, Kurt  Hoffman3.

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      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 – 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:

      2:30 PM - ZZ4.4

      The Role of Energy Clubs in Enhancing Student Education beyond the Traditional Classroom

      Alexander  Luce1, Lindsay  Miller2, Sebastien  Lounis3, Maria  Schriver2.

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      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

      Patricia  Dixon1, Roxanne  Hughes1, Jose  Sanchez1.

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      This presentation highlights strategies for K-20 teaching and learning about materials research in informal settings. The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory’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 Center’s nationally-recognized programming as well as facilitating scientists’ 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 Center’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 -


      Show Abstract

      3:30 PM - *ZZ4.6

      Workforce Diversity and Its Impact on Education

      Cathy  Lyons1.

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      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

      Jonas  Johansson1.

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      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 [1]. 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 [2] – and on the other hand that women are sometimes described in more hostile terms than men when evaluating professors [3], 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 students’ responses in three categories: (i) didn’t understand the rules, (ii) don’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. [1] J. S. Leming, Journal of Educational Research, 74 (1980) 83-87 [2] A. S. Ahola, Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 16 (2009) S90-S100 [3] 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

      William  M  Cross1, Jon  Kellar1, Grant  Crawford1, Stanley  Howard1, Michael  West1, Dana  Medlin2.

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      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 “hammer-in” 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 “Back to the Future” 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.

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