Program - Symposium EEE: Materials Education—Toward a Lab-to-Classroom Initiative

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2013 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit

April 1-5, 2013San Francisco, California
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Select talks from this symposium were recorded and are available via MRS OnDemand®.

Download Session Locator (.pdf)2013-04-02  

Symposium EEE

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Symposium Organizers

  • Eva M. Campo, Bangor University
  • Christine Caragianis Broadbridge, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Kathryn Hollar, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Costel Constantin, James Madison University


  • Bangor University
    Hysitron, Inc.
    NISE Network
    NSF - Division of DMR
    NSF MRSEC Center for Research on Interface Structures and Phenomena (CRISP), Yale/SCSU

    EEE1: Lab to Classroom: Innovation in Content

    • Chair: Eva M. Campo
    • Tuesday AM, April 2, 2013
    • Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Level, Nob Hill C

    8:15 AM - *EEE1.01

    The Large Hadron Collider and the Higgs Boson

    Steven  Michael  Goldfarb1.

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    Buried about 100m below the French / Swiss countryside, between the Alps and the Jura Mountains, is a 27km tunnel housing the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. This chain of superconducting magnets accelerates protons to very high energies and then collides them at four different places. Surrounding these points are enormous, highly complex particle detectors, each bearing millions of electronic channels, and designed to reconstruct the remnants of the collisions.
    The talk describes the LHC, the detectors, the collaborations that built and run them, and the motivation - in fact, necessity - for their existence. Recent physics results, including the world's first glimpse of the Higgs Boson, are presented in the context of addressing our fundamental questions of the universe.

    8:45 AM - EEE1.02

    Building Computation into the Core of Materials Science and Engineering Education

    Michael  L  Falk1 2 3, Alejandra  J  Magana4, Michael  Reese5.

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    The Materials Genome Initiative aims to integrate computation with experiment and informatics to revolutionize the materials engineering and design process. To achieve this goal Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) students will need to be introduced to computation as an integral part of their disciplinary practice and core knowledge base. We are undertaking a process of weaving computation throughout the MSE curriculum by requiring a discipline-based computation course in their first year of study for MSE majors at Johns Hopkins University. During this class students are introduced to computation through projects relevant to the MSE discipline. We are simultaneously introducing computational content into the core MSE courses covering structures, thermodynamics, kinetics and phase transformations, electronic, optical and magnetic properties, mechanical properties and biological materials. We have collected survey data regarding how such interactions alter students' perception of their computational capabilities and future career goals. We have also collected pre- and post- test data aimed at measuring how using computation in core classes aids in assimilation of core MSE concepts. A small sample of students were also videotaped during think-aloud exercises that were subsequently analyzed with an eye to uncovering relevant questions regarding how disciplinarily grounded computational work influences the student learning process in an MSE context.

    9:00 AM - EEE1.03

    From Advanced Materials Research to Classroom Education

    Daryush  Ila1.

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    The subject of this presentation focusses on how our team built bridge between advanced materials processing, characterization and prototyping R&D and classroom with students from senior high school students, undergraduate students and graduate students. The materials science education and summer training using the state-of-art instrumentation, such as ion implanters, scanning Raman microprobe, AFM, IBAD, MBE, RBS, PIXE, SEM, AES, and many more advanced characterization and testing instrumentation was originally established by the author and his teammates in early 1990 at the Center for Irradiation of Materials in order to enhance the education, research and services capabilities of the university and provide services needed by the aerospace and defense community and local industry. As the result of establishment of this center the annual number of students taking 300, 400 500 level courses as well as summer training courses at this facility reach as high as 60 students per year where 20-30 were summer students, some from local high schools and nearly two dozen graduate students per year used this facility for their advanced research regularly. The success of the courses; special topics on materials processing, materials characterization, and device prototyping, were carefully and individually designed to meet the need of the mix of students’ background attending each course and lab work. The lab-work each advanced research with goal to produce publication were designed with milestone and pre-determined mentor while maintain high standard and progress reporting, oral and in writing, once to twice a week for 10 to 14 weeks. The developed courses and laboratory research conducted were both interdisciplinary, multi-cultural and multi institutions, to include local high-schools, and multi-universities, including universities from Brazil, France, Turkey, Japan, Belarus, and Greece. Most often, students had backgrounds in physics, chemistry, food science, life science, mechanical and electrical engineering. The main focus of the program was to generate enthusiasm, to create interest and to build pipeline of students for materials science education while generating interest on subject matters relevant to surface and interface processing, surface modification and understanding properties of materials.

    9:15 AM - EEE1.04

    Nanotechnology for High School Classrooms: Development of Experimental Demonstration for Patterning Magnetic Nanoparticles Using Ferrofluids

    Nitin  Chopra1 3, Wenwu  Shi1 3, Victoria  L  Evans2.

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    Nanotechnology and nanoscience have a huge impact on society and are becoming attractive areas of learning at various levels including high schools. These areas have their foundation in high school mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. This provides the scientists with an opportunity to embed their knowledge and research into high school curriculum. Teaching students about smallest and largest possible length scales can make them better understand atomic structure and manufacturing processes. Towards this end, providing unique research experience to high school teachers to help them incorporate aspects of nanotechnology in their classroom curriculum is an interesting as well as a challenging avenue. A four week pilot program was established through a team effort including a faculty team leader, a graduate student, and a high school teacher to develop an inquiry-based learning experimental demonstration. This demonstration involved patterning of magnetic nanoparticles on a silicon wafer, a necessary step in device industry specializing in advanced magnetic memory, recording, and storage devices. The approach utilized electromagnetically activated or ‘spiked’ ferrofluid (magnetic nanoparticles dispersed in a viscous/oily solution) for patterning magnetic nanoparticles. An automated motor assembly was used to gradually descend a suspended silicon wafer on spiked ferrofluid. Different parameters such as magnetic field strength, wafer descending speed, and contact depth of the wafer with the ferrofluid were studied and their influence on the pattern formation was evaluated. The project served two-fold purpose; first, the development of a strong partnership with local high school and bringing nanotechnology to the community; second, providing research opportunity to a teacher for designing an engineered approach for patterning magnetic nanoparticles for high schools. Such efforts will also facilitate the development of future work force in nanotechnology and nanoscience and upon incorporation into classroom curriculum will encourage students to opt for sciences and engineering as careers.

    9:30 AM -


    Show Abstract

    10:00 AM - EEE1.05

    The Solar Hydrogen Activity Research Kit (SHArK) Project: A Distributed Research Approach to Solve the Problem of Solar Water Splitting

    Bruce  Parkinson1.

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    The Solar Hydrogen Activity Research Kit (SHArK) Project is an outreach project with the goal of discovering metal oxide semiconductors that can efficiently split water into hydrogen and oxygen using sunlight. Using the simple, flexible and inexpensive kits created by this project, a “Solar Army” is being created across the country in high schools and colleges to help with the search for efficient and cost effective metal oxide semiconductors using a combinatorial chemistry approach. A SHArK kit was devised to use mostly commercially available parts including Lego Mindstorms® kits, commercial ink jet printers and a 532 nm green laser pointer. Other components of the kit include a custom-built electronics box, custom software, an etched glass electrochemical cell and electrode holders made of copper wire and alligator clips to connect the substrate to the electronics box. The idea is to deposit overlapping patterns of metal oxide precursors onto conductive glass substrates and fire them at around 500 °C to decompose the nitrates into mixed metal oxides. The precursor combinations can be deposited onto conductive glass substrates by one of two methods: pipetting premixed solutions in spots or by using an inkjet printer where the ink in the cartridges is replaced by metal precursor solutions, usually metal nitrate salts. Pipetting is simpler and provides students with the opportunity to practice basic chemical techniques whereas inkjet printing allows the flexibility to creative virtually endless arrays of potentially useful metal oxide semiconductors. With about 60 metals in the periodic table combined to form ternary or quaternary metal oxides, millions of different compositions, some of which will be semiconductors, are possible. After depostion and firing the photoelectrolysis activity of the metal oxide film on the conductive glass is immersed in an electrochemical cell and tested using a Lego® based laser scanner to detect photocurrent generation indivcative of photoelectrolysis activity. The false color photocuurent maps are created to indicate which combinations are promising photocatalysts. Among this multitude of combinations we believe there are many with the electronic properties and stability necessary for splitting water.. Given that it is not yet possible to identify these semiconductors a priori with computational methods, distributed research allows for large numbers of combinations to be produced and screened and for the students to participate in a research project and could help provide a long-term solution to the global energy problem.

    10:15 AM - EEE1.06

    Bringing Students to the Mountain: A Model for Developing Partnerships to Introduce Students to Cutting-edge Research

    AnneLynn  Gillian-Daniel1, Benjamin  L.  Taylor1, Jon  McCarthy1, Troy  Dassler2, Robert  Gordon3.

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    Many materials science education and outreach activities are designed to be easy and cost-effective to implement in K-12 classrooms. While these activities are extremely effective at teaching broad materials science concepts such as size and scale, materials properties, and the use of tools in science, they do not connect very closely to the work being done in materials science research laboratories. In an effort to more closely connect our outreach efforts to the work being done by our researchers, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (UW-MRSEC) has developed partnerships with the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery (Discovery), a public-private facility that includes state-of-the-art teaching labs, and Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc. These partnerships allow us to introduce public audiences to state-of-the-art facilities and instruments used by UW researchers. In this presentation, we will describe the partnerships UW-MRSEC has established and the resulting education materials we have developed and disseminated. Our experiences will also serve as a template for similar partnerships at other institutions.

    10:30 AM - EEE1.07

    Ion Beam Institute for Nanotechnology

    Cydale  Smith1, Tomeka  Colon1, Charles  Payton1, Patrick  Grayson1.

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    Experimental laboratory experiences are needed to supplement classroom lectures at the high school level in our public schools. This is especially true for specialized areas such as nanotechnology. Therefore, we have implemented nanotechnology applications as part of a student project course for high science students. The focus is to provide an interactive hands-on experience in nanofabrication and characterization of nanostructures. The students are assigned to a research project and mentored in performing research in a laboratory setting. They are required to support and lead specific activities within the project, and also produce reports and presentations on their activities. We document student involvement and development during the course.

    10:45 AM - EEE1.08

    Introducing Students to Raman Spectroscopy as a Research Tool

    Bahram  Roughani1, David  Warner1, Uma  Ramabadran1.

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    We have introduced upper level science and engineering students to scientific research concepts through materials characterization using polarized Raman spectroscopy. The theoretical model for intensity dependent Raman spectra was developed using Raman tensors. This model predicted the differences in the Raman intensities as a function of the crystal orientation and the laser polarization direction. Raman spectra were collected from single crystal silicon with different orientations; (100), (110), and (111). An alternate experimental design was adopted for data collection where the incident polarization of the laser light was kept constant and the sample was rotated under the microscope to vary the relative angle between the laser light and crystallographic direction. The intensity dependence of the Raman signal was mapped as a function of the rotational angle. A three dimensional plot of intensity vs. wave number and angle of rotation was generated. The experimental results showed clear differences between the Raman intensity profiles for the three different Si samples. Comparison of the three dimensional experimental results and theoretical predictions demonstrated the accuracy of the theoretical model used. This project based work created an effective method for students to learn about Raman spectroscopy as an effective research tool to characterize semiconductor materials and to acquire theoretical knowledge regarding polarization dependent Raman selection rules.

    11:00 AM - *EEE1.09

    Frontiers of Energy Research as a Basis for K-12 Science Curriculum

    Faisal  Alamgir1.

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    The concept of energy has recently gained prominence in public consciousness for two broad reasons. The first is the recognition that unless we learn how to transform our ability to harness and use energy, we will not be able to secure future development that is environmentally, economically and geo-politically sustainable. The second is a growing awareness that if we are to tackle the complex task of revamping our energy portfolio, we must increase investment in science education in order to develop a sufficient knowledge base. It should be recognized, however, that the current public awareness of the importance of energy is not necessarily one that has been cultivated long-term but, rather, it arises in reaction to crises, whether economic (such as increased gas prices), environmental (increasing evidence of global warming) or geo-political (global conflicts over traditional energy sources). Scientists at the forefront of energy research have a duty to inform public opinions not just when a particular crisis emerges but through broad and sustained educational outreach efforts. Emerging research on energy harvesting, storage and conversion should be in tandem with deliberate efforts in educating the next generations of scientific minds to deconstruct concepts in energy fluently using their knowledge of the physical sciences. Concepts of energy capture, conversion and storage lend themselves to teaching basic scientific concepts such as charge transport, atomic structure, relationships between electric potential and energy, relationships between chemical and electrical energy, to name just a few. We have shown, through collaborations with local area high schools, that real-world energy-related examples offer a powerful way to teach concepts from state-mandated high school physics and chemistry syllabi. We have developed and launched a pilot digital archive of video modules recorded using “electronic smartboards”. Following the successful example of the Khan Academy, the modules are designed to be about 10 minutes long and to focus on a specific physics or chemistry concept using real-world energy-materials examples. The vision of this program is to introduce “energy literacy”, a functioning fluency of the basic concepts of energy harvesting, consumption, storage and conversion as early in the development of a student as possible.

    EEE2: Lab to Classroom: Innovations in Pedagogy and Content Delivery

    • Chair: Christine Caragianis Broadbridge
    • Tuesday PM, April 2, 2013
    • Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Level, Nob Hill C

    1:30 PM - *EEE2.01

    Translating Research into the Classroom: The NIST Summer Institute for Middle School Science Teachers

    Mary  Satterfield1.

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    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a dynamic and on-going educational outreach program designed to support middle school science teachers and increase their understanding of the science they teach with applications to the real world and connections to the latest NIST research. In the NIST Summer Institute for Middle School Science Teachers, science topics are taken from NIST research pertinent to the middle school curriculum, and the research is translated for use in the classroom. During the two-week summer program teachers from around the country are given the opportunity to focus on NIST research as it relates to the middle school classroom by participating in a combination of hands-on activities, lectures, tours, and visits with scientists and engineers in their laboratories. The NIST Summer Institute is designed to increase teacher understanding of the subjects they teach, provide inquiry activities for the classroom, rekindle teachers’ enthusiasm for science, provide increased understanding of how scientific research is performed, create a learning community of teachers and scientists, and provide role models for the teachers. Teachers finish the NIST Summer Institute with a wealth of knowledge about core topics in introductory biology, chemistry, and physics, and materials to integrate these topics into their existing curriculum.
    The NIST Summer Institute has spawned additional related outreach activities, including “Science Afternoons at NIST,” in which teachers are invited back to NIST during the school year for events in which the focus is on a single topic such as designing buildings to resist earthquakes, infrared energy, and nanomagnetism. Based on continued requests from participants in the NIST Summer Institute, an additional program, the NIST Research Experience for Teachers program, was begun in 2011 with teachers performing research at NIST under the guidance of NIST scientists and engineers, and designing ways to take their research experience back into the classroom to share with their students. This presentation will give examples of topics covered and activities developed in past Summer Institutes, as well as ways similar Institutes are being implemented at other locations. While not a teaching institution but a research institute focused on meeting the measurement science needs of the nation, NIST has a wealth of resources for the education community. The NIST Summer Institute for Middle School Science Teachers is one way of sharing these resources and building partnerships between middle school science teachers and their students and NIST scientists and engineers.

    2:00 PM - EEE2.02

    Integration of Materials Functionalities to Enhance Teaching and Learning Materials Sciences and Engineering

    Weijie  Lu1.

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    In the past two decades, one of the main landscape changes in materials research is that functionality of materials has been more emphasized than structures of materials. Different types of materials structures could exhibit the same functionality, and the same material could exhibit multi-functionalities. Graphene is one of many emerging materials exhibiting multi-functionalities. This article has discussed the integration of materials functionalities as a new approach to emphasize on materials applications for enhancing materials sciences and engineering (MSE) teaching and learning. The interdisciplinary and integrated MSE could be aligned from the fundamental structural aspects of materials at the atomic scale, to synthesis and processing, through materials functionality, and to system integrations and interface with various engineering disciplines. For examples, electronic materials could be integrated by bandgap structures and properties for semiconducting functionality including inorganic, organic, ceramic, and polymeric materials. Composite materials could be integrated from the interface and interphase structures, through specific multi-scale functionalities with structural characterizations and integrated computations at the multi-scales, to various applications. It is suggested that the MSE teaching and learning are enhanced by interfacing with other engineering disciplines, distinguishing from materials chemistry and physics, and emphasizing system integrations for various applications through the integration of materials functionality.

    2:15 PM - EEE2.03

    Longitudinal Tracking of K-16 Participants in STEM Education Programs at a National Lab

    Roxanne  M  Hughes1.

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    National Labs serve as a valuable resource to K-12 students and teachers as well as undergraduates. These labs facilitate informal STEM learning by providing students and teachers with opportunities to work with scientists and witness authentic research. Few labs have the staff to research the effects of these programs, therefore studies that can provide longitudinal data on the impact of informal STEM outreach programs would be useful to national labs and their funders.
    The Center for Integrating Research and Learning at the National High Magnetic Laboratory has run a series of summer programs that focus on K-16 students and K-12 teachers. The presentation will highlight the role these programs have on students’ STEM career interest/STEM persistence and teachers’ STEM understanding/confidence in STEM teaching. Participants in these programs are contacted annually to create longitudinal trajectories for participants and their STEM persistence (for students) and STEM teaching impact (for teachers). STEM persistence is measured through course taking, college majors, and undergraduate/graduate degree completion. STEM teaching impact (for teachers) is measured by STEM professional development involvement and serving as STEM teaching experts.
    The programs that will be discussed in this presentation are the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), the Research Experience for Teachers (RET), and the SciGirls Summer Camp. All data includes STEM persistence data and STEM teaching impact data for participants in these programs before May 2012. The REU program serves on average 18 undergraduates each summer and has been in existence since 1999 (n = 274 distinct participants not counting those who participated multiple summers, 189 have completed annual survey for a response rate of 69%). The RET program serves on average 12 K-12 teachers each summer and has been in existence since 2000 (n=148 distinct participants, 53 have completed the annual survey for a response rate of 35%). The SciGirls middle school summer camp has been in existence since 2006 and serves on average 30 middle school girls each year (n=144 distinct participants, 60 have completed the annual survey for a 41% response rate).
    The results of these trajectory studies indicate that exposing K-16 students and K-12 teachers to authentic scientific research within a national laboratory is beneficial to STEM persistence for students and STEM teaching impact for teachers.

    2:30 PM - *EEE2.04

    How ``Discover the COSMOS” and ``Pathway” are Changing the Science Education in European High Schools

    Christine  Kourkoumelis1.

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    During recent years, the European Commission has made intensive efforts to promote science education in schools though new methods based on inquiry based: questions, search and answers. This is coupled to hands-on experience, playful learning accompanied by laboratory exercises and examples.
    “Discover the COSMOS” is such a project which brings into synergy resources from high energy, astronomy and space physics to promote e-Science in Europe. Event analysis tools from the ATLAS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider of CERN -such as the “hunt for the Higgs” application- as well as time slices in various robotic telescopes around the world and the related software to process the images, are all available as educational scenaria both the students and the educators. Moreover, the best practices are presented in a more theoretically way for the teachers in the “Pathway” project. Examples of the applications as well as first results from the evaluation of the programs will be presented.

    3:00 PM -


    Show Abstract

    3:30 PM - EEE2.05

    Experiences with the Flipped Classroom and a Materials Science Massive, Open, On-line Class

    Bruce  Montgomery  Clemens1, Chinmay  Nivargi1, Antony  Jan1, Jane  Manning2, Emily  Schneider3.

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    For the last several years the “Solar Cells, Fuel Cells and Batteries” class in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University has attracted a large group of students with diverse backgrounds. A typical class has students from about a dozen different departments, ranging engineering to business, and with ages ranging from sophomores to advanced graduate students. This has presented a challenge to keep the advanced students engaged while making the material tractable for the non-engineer and younger students. In addition, the large size of the class (~100) has made it difficult to give individual attention and help for solving the homework problems that provide a major component of the learning experience for this course.
    For Autumn quarter of 2012, this course was offered in a “flipped classroom” format, with lecture material delivered on-line, and the normal class periods used for problem sessions, question and answer sessions, and guest speakers. In this format the students are able to self-pace themselves through the lecture material and receive individual attention during the coached, team-oriented problem sessions held during class.
    In addition the class was offered on-line free to the world as a Massive Open, On-Line Class (MOOC) through Stanford’s Class2Go program. Over 10,000 students from around the world signed up for the course.
    This talk will present the results of our experience with the flipped classroom and in offering what we believe to be the first materials science MOOC. We will discuss the results of the evaluations performed, including a mid-course evaluation for the on-campus students and pre and post-course surveys administered to the off-campus students. We will present a view of the considerable activity on the course forum and discuss the culture of asking and answering questions that developed during the course of the class.

    3:45 PM - EEE2.06

    Visualization Tool for a Non-ideal Carnot Engine Suited for Interactive Learning

    Jonas  Johansson1.

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    Modern information technology offers many possibilities to visualize complex and seemingly difficult phenomena so that learning thresholds can be more easily overcome. The purpose of this presentation is to exemplify this with the demonstration and discussion of a pedagogical visualization tool for a non-ideal Carnot engine that we have developed and evaluated among students. Here we note that cyclic processes are at the heart of engineering thermodynamics, which is a key subject in materials science education.
    Already in 1975, Curzon and Ahlborn noted that most undergraduate thermodynamics textbooks do not treat the time aspects of thermodynamic cycles, thus lacking the explanation of how power is generated from e.g. heat engines. Curzon and Ahlborn considered a Carnot cycle operating at finite time by modeling the time dependent energy losses in the isotherms [1]. By this they were able to derive a general expression for the efficiency at maximum power, depending only on the temperatures of the reservoirs, just like the Carnot efficiency.
    We have constructed an educational visualization tool based on Curzon and Ahlborn’s model, but keeping the time dependence explicit, enabling a graphical approach. We have written the visualization tool in Wolfram’s computational document format (cdf), which is a candidate for innovative, interactive, electronic textbooks [2] as well as for on-line course material. In our cdf, the p-V, T-S, power versus time, and efficiency versus time diagrams are simultaneously shown on the screen, while the cycle time can be varied interactively.
    Our evaluation of the visualization tool in the setting of a first thermodynamics course for engineering students who had just been taught about thermodynamic cycles showed that their prior knowledge about which aspects that make the Carnot cycle ideal is vague. According to the survey, all students found the interactive demonstration helpful in their understanding. A general remark we extracted from several of the students’ answers is that the relationships between efficiency, power, and cycle time became clearer. Several students also conclude that seeing the different diagrams being varied simultaneously gives increased holistic understanding, which is a desirable capability of tomorrow’s materials engineers.
    According to their responses, most students welcome more demonstrations of this kind in the education but they think that the lecturer needs to be careful so that the demonstrations or visualizations do not complicate or confuse things. To be specific, most students are convinced that there exist quite distinct optima in the level and the pace of the visualization. Since students are individuals and are at more or less different levels, care must be taken when designing the visualization tool and planning the pace of the demonstration.
    [1] F L Curzon and B Ahlborn, Am J Phys 43 (1975) 22-24
    [2] W L Briggs and L Cochran, Calculus: Early Transcendentals, Pearson (2011)

    4:00 PM - *EEE2.07

    Materials Genome Initiatives at the University of Connecticut

    S.  P.  Alpay1 2 3, A.  M.  Dongare1 2, E.  E.  Dormidontova1 3, S.  M.  Nakhmanson1 2, R.  Ramprasad1 2 3, G.  A.  Rossetti1 2.

    Show Abstract

    The concept of rationally designing materials through the effective use of computational methods and complementary experiments forms the core of the recent U. S. White House Materials Genome Initiative (MGI). This paradigm for studying the materials property space has the potential to mitigate the cost, risks, and time involved in an Edisonian approach to the preparation and testing of potentially useful materials, and should yield valuable insights into the fundamental factors underlying materials behavior. Materials informatics embodies this kind of rational strategy to systematically navigate through materials structure/property space, and involves a variety of methodologies to generate and analyze scientific and engineering materials data. Realizing the enormous potential of such an initiative, the School of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Institute of Materials Science at the University of Connecticut have invested heavily into: (1) strategic hiring of tenured and tenure-track faculty, (2) establishing industrial partnerships in the State of Connecticut, (3) significant curriculum changes in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Department of Physics at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and (4) providing internal funds to existing faculty to develop research programs in line with the MGI. In this talk, we will summarize these efforts with particular emphasis on how such investments can transform “traditional” materials research and development at the academic level.

    Download Session Locator (.pdf)2013-04-03  

    Symposium EEE

    Show All Abstracts

    Symposium Organizers

    • Eva M. Campo, Bangor University
    • Christine Caragianis Broadbridge, Southern Connecticut State University
    • Kathryn Hollar, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
    • Costel Constantin, James Madison University


    • Bangor University
      Hysitron, Inc.
      NISE Network
      NSF - Division of DMR
      NSF MRSEC Center for Research on Interface Structures and Phenomena (CRISP), Yale/SCSU

      EEE3: Workforce Development and Collaborations with Industry

      • Chair: Costel Constantin
      • Wednesday AM, April 3, 2013
      • Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Level, Nob Hill C

      8:30 AM - *EEE3.01

      HTA Educational Outreach Program and Change the Equation Participation

      Robert  J.  Gordon1.

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      In this talk, Hitachi High Technologies America (HTA) introduces its Educational Outreach Program and explains it’s involvement with Change The Equation (CTEq), a nonprofit, nonpartisan, CEO-led initiative that is mobilizing the business community to improve the quality of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning in the United States.
      Change the Equation was started by five Chief Operating Officers from some of the largest companies in the U. S. along with the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in September 2010. In that time, CTEq has helped its more than 100 members connect and align their philanthropic and advocacy efforts so that they add up to more than the sum of their parts. CTEq is meant to answer President Obama’s Educate to Innovate Campaign to move the U.S. to the top of the pack in science and math education over the next decade.
      CTEq is interested in improving STEM education for every child, with a particular focus on girls and students of color which have long been underrepresented in STEM fields. Some of the key focuses of CTEq are on scalability, sustainability, an emphasis on long term impact, support of teachers in the STEM field and encouragement of hands-on-learning. With some of the long term goals of CTEq being improving corporate member philanthropy, inspiring and capturing the imagination of America’s youth, providing insight to students into STEM postsecondary and career options, and advocating change at the state and national level for STEM education, the CTEq coalition will look to speak and act as a unified voice for change in STEM education in the years to come.
      [1] Change the Equation [internet] 2012 [cited 2012 May 15] Available at:

      9:00 AM - *EEE3.02

      Teaching K-12 Students and Teachers about Size and Scale and the Tools of Nano — NNIN’s Approach

      Nancy  Healy1.

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      The National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) is an integrated geographically-diverse partnership of 14 university-based laboratories supported by the National Science Foundation. As part of NNIN’s education mission, we offer education and training to individuals (school-aged students to adults to address the explosive growth of nanotechnology and its growing need for a skilled workforce and informed public. We provide resources, programs, and materials to enhance an individual’s knowledge of nanotechnology and its application to real-world issues. Workforce development programs are needed to excite students about possible education and career opportunities to ensure that the U.S. maintains its competitive edge in this fast-growing field. Through several years of education outreach, we have determined that providing an understanding of the size of the nanoscale is a basic concept for laying the foundation for nanoscale concepts.
      The purpose of this presentation will be provide information on how we are teaching students and teachers about size and scale and the tools of nanotechnology, including scanning electron microscopy. We have found that most students can provide the various SI units of measurement and may even define these prefixes. But where most students (and some teachers) have difficulty, is understanding differences in size and scale as materials move from macro to micro to nano scales. This session will share lessons we use to help participants in our outreach programs understand concepts relating to size and scale. This is an important concept because of its importance in eventually allowing students to understand nanoscale phenomena. The lessons will include how we incorporate scanning electron microscopy (using Hitachi’s TM3000 Tabletop SEM) and Atomic Force Microscopy (using Nanoscience’s NanoSurf esayScan AFM) into our outreach programs.

      9:30 AM - EEE3.03

      Infusing Emerging Nano and Green Technologies into Community College STEM Curriculum

      Rashmi  Nanjundaswamy1, Darrell  Porcello1, S.  Sidharta2, A.  Harty1.

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      Community colleges play a significant role in U.S. higher education. They enroll almost half of all undergraduate students and are essential for work force training. Exposure to the viable career options of emerging technologies can strongly motivate community college students considering a 4-year college degree, and those returning to school looking for a 2-year degree and certifications to boost their marketability.
      Join us for a discussion on the methods and results from an ongoing National Science Foundation: Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM (TUES) project on infusing emerging nano and green technology modules into introductory STEM curriculum. We will also discuss how lessons and strategies learned from the field of informal science education (ISE) have been leveraged in online collections of open educational resources (NSDL,,,

      9:45 AM -


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      10:15 AM - EEE3.04

      Engaging Community College Students in Materials Research

      Megan  T.  Valentine1, Maria  Napoli2, Arica  Lubin2, Liu-Yen  Kramer2, Ofelia  Aguirre2, Jens-Uwe  Kuhn3, Nicholas  Arnold3.

      Show Abstract

      It is commonly agreed that the future competitiveness of the US economy will depend on its ability to attract talent and foster innovation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines. At the same time it is also becoming clear that this need can only be met by attracting, educating, and retaining a larger and more diverse cohort of STEM students. In this regard, Community Colleges (CC), serving a disproportionate number of underrepresented minority, female and nontraditional students, represent a pool of potential talent that, due to a misguided perception of its students as being less capable, often remains untapped. Here, we discuss our strategies to attract and support the academic advancement of CC students in the STEM fields through our NSF-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates program entitled Internships in Nanosystems Science Engineering and Technology (INSET). Since its inception in 2002, INSET has raised the profile of CC student researchers at our institution, the University of California Santa Barbara, and has offered a number of materials science research projects each year. We argue that key components of INSET success are: 1) the involvement of CC faculty with a strong interest in promoting student success in all aspects of program planning and execution; 2) the design of activities that provide the level of support that students might need because of lack of confidence and/or unfamiliarity with a university environment, while setting clear goals and high performance expectations.The INSET program has been a successful template for the creation of other CC-university partnerships at our campus, which encourage and support the advancement of CC students as they transfer on to 4-year institutions in STEM fields. We conclude by offering this successful model for university/community college partnerships, which can be implemented at other institutions.

      10:30 AM - EEE3.05

      Educating the Next Generation of Scientists through Industrially-relevant Research and Internships

      Charles  G.  Wade1, Dolores  C.  Miller1, Eileen  Sheu2, Candice  L.  Lewis4, Ka Yee  C.  Lee2, Matthew  Tirrell3 2, Gregory  A.  Voth4 2.

      Show Abstract

      One of the goals of the Materials Genome Initiative is to minimize the length of time between the discovery of new materials to their manufacture and deployment in new products and processes. Because industry plays a crucial role in determining the requisite properties for new, state-of-the-art devices and materials, the involvement of the industrial sector is critical in the education and training of the next generation of scientists. A new partnership between the IBM Research Almaden Center and the University of Chicago was initiated in 2012 to provide students and postdoctoral scientists with the opportunity to participate in leading edge, industrially-relevant research in materials at both IBM Research Almaden and the University of Chicago. The development of joint research projects between IBM Almaden and the University of Chicago in the areas of polymer science, nanomaterials, spintronics/magnetomaterials, and computational materials sciences provides the framework for this effort. University of Chicago scientists directly experience the industrial research environment through internships at IBM. They are thus exposed to the innovation planning and processes which have been successful in high technology industries. Pilot projects for this partnership began with undergraduate interns during the 2012 summer.

      10:45 AM - EEE3.06

      Optimizing K-14 Instruction to Infuse 21st Century Skills

      Deborah  A  Day1 2, Cindy  Guo1, Nicole  Ferrari4, Christine  Broadbridge2 3.

      Show Abstract

      In our current 21st century workforce, there is a demand for advancement in areas such as renewable energy, advanced materials, national security, and human welfare. As a nation, we must remain globally competitive by producing a highly skilled, well educated workforce. In order to best prepare the next generation, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) related tools and investments must be made in our current educational system, in particular, to achieve the national goal of expedited materials innovation. This study investigates the learning outcomes of courses taught in the K-14 classroom. Specifically, the methods and practices teachers use to develop and encourage 21st Century Skills including critical thinking skills and technology fluency in all subject areas, STEM and non-STEM related. STEM subjects include math, science, technology, tech-ed, pre-engineering and engineering classes. Non-STEM related subjects include humanities courses such as english, language, and history, as well as the fine and performing arts. Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication as defined by The Foundation for Critical Thinking. Technology fluency deals with the knowledge and/or use of electronic tools and software and requires students to engage in electronic collaboration, create documents and presentations, and use graphical and multimedia technology. Currently, these skills are highly demanded in fields which develop advanced materials and are the backbone of the National Academies developed Frameworks for K-12 Science Education. Phase I participants in this study include high school and college educators while Phase II of the study involves K-14 students. Specifically, educators were asked to identify critical thinking skills and technology fluency components in their current curriculum as well as methods of assessment [e.g., rubrics] and self-efficacy based on a modified ‘Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument' (STEBI). Phase II probes students’ ability to think critically using a variety of instruments including (but not limited to) the Critical Thinking Assessment Test. Additionally, data pertaining to student learning opportunities in critical thinking and technology skills were also gathered. All participants are from the greater New Haven, CT area. Results indicate that STEM related subject areas offer a rich array of opportunities to effectively teach critical thinking and technological fluency at a variety of educational levels. The results of the current study will be summarized and plans for implementation of a followup study will be outlined.

      11:00 AM - *EEE3.07

      High Performance Computing (HPC) Wales and the Next Generation Workforce: Strategies to Ensure Propagation

      Laura  M  Redfern1 2.

      Show Abstract

      High Performance Computing (HPC) Wales was launched in 2010 as a five year joint venture between Wales’ six Universities, working in partnership with a variety of academic and industrial stakeholders and funded by the EU, UK and Welsh Governments. The aim of HPC Wales is to deliver a pan-Wales HPC Infrastructure: primarily to assist with economic regeneration in the Principality of Wales (population 3.6 million) through the upskilling of individuals and by promoting uptake of HPC in Welsh businesses, but also open to collaborations from outside Wales. It is the first national service of its kind in Europe.
      In order to encourage uptake of HPC into small to medium sized enterprise (including micro-enterprises) in Wales, and for HPC Wales itself to become a sustainable business, the development of a strong skills base is vital. Successful delivery of the venture will be marked by the successful upskilling of individuals via accredited training programmes, and through outreach and engagement activities. Recognising that a significant amount of upskilling is required, further work is being undertaken by HPC Wales to develop workflows which can help to simplify the HPC job submission process for the end user. This will make it possible for businesses to achieve results without their needing to acquire a high level of specialist HPC skills in the short term.
      At a mid-point in this ambitious venture, this paper examines the strategies being developed by HPC Wales which will help to ensure propagation throughout the educational chain so that the requisite skills and workflows are in place which will benefit the next-generation workforce. Through this, HPC Wales hopes to assist in the overall advancement of scientific discovery which will, in turn, help Welsh businesses to become more competitive in the global marketplace.

      11:30 AM - *EEE3.08

      Addressing the Needs of the Next Generation Workforce - Paradigm Shift or Education as Usual?

      Ashley  White1.

      Show Abstract

      Several new government investments require interdisciplinary research approaches and multidisciplinary collaborations to tackle and solve the complex problems facing science and society today. The interagency Materials Genome Initiative, for example, encourages iterative research among experimentalists, theorists, and computational experts to significantly reduce the time and cost to bring a new material from the lab to the marketplace. As another example, the National Science Foundation's Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability investment encompasses many activities that encourage, or even require, interdisciplinary approaches towards achieving global sustainability. To succeed in accomplishing these goals, an investment in research in these areas must be accompanied by an investment in training a workforce capable of understanding how to integrate one's own expertise with knowledge from outside one's field. This may mean a better understanding of how modeling and experiment can be more integrated to quickly solve problems, or may relate to understanding one's research in the context of a product's life cycle. To what extent is a paradigm shift in education required to achieve this level of understanding compared with smaller scale reform? This talk will discuss the outcomes of recent MRS and NSF workshops in this area, highlight curricula changes that have been made or are in development in universities, and propose the next steps required to address challenges that still lie ahead in aligning government goals and university curricula.

      EEE4: Lab to Classroom: Reaching Diverse Audiences

      • Chair: Kathryn Hollar
      • Wednesday PM, April 3, 2013
      • Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Level, Nob Hill C

      1:30 PM - *EEE4.01

      Materials Science Summer Academies for High School Students

      Daniel  Steinberg1.

      Show Abstract

      The Princeton University Materials Academy (P.U.M.A.) is a summer program for high school students that specifically targets students from underserved communities and young women. PUMA has been run each summer the past eleven years at Princeton University by its Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) since 2002. These students spend four intensive weeks learning about materials science innovations from scientists each summer. The course framework consists of inquiry-based, hands-on labs and project-based learning, supported by lectures and interaction with PCCM faculty and graduate students. The program is structured and developed by the education director each summer. PUMA students are guided by a master teacher whose role in PUMA is critical. They are guided in their work by the faculty on current research projects; therefore the curriculum is different every year based on the changing research interest of our faculty. This intensive program targets truly underrepresented, disadvantaged high school students - especially those who have a good chance of success with the right encouragement - to give them a full immersion in science. In past sessions, the high school students from Trenton interacted with Princeton University faculty and students to learn about materials science and solar energy research. Among other projects, the students work on ceramic water filters and solar ovens that could improve the quality of life and environmental conditions in parts of Africa. Other projects have included art and building preservation, MEMS and AFM cancer detection, sustainable buildings and other projects from a materials science perspective. Each of the past three years, two PUMA student “alums” have earned a research position at Princeton University. The PUMA model, and how to reproduce it, which includes MRSEC education director, Master Teacher, Faculty and student mentors, MRSEC laboratories will be discussed.
      In addition to our high school academy we have added an academy for middle school students participate in a program that focuses on materials science and energy sustainability. Curriculum for the program is developed from the science and engineering research of PCCM faculty and a master teacher. The two-week program is dedicated to narrowing the academic achievement gap across racial and ethnic groups and is supported by the National Science Foundation -- through Princeton's Center for Complex Materials -- and the University's Community House service organization.

      2:00 PM - EEE4.02

      It Takes a Community to Raise an Engineer — STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools (SABES)

      Michael  L  Falk1 2 3, Carolyn  A  Parker4, Yolanda  Abel4, Stephen  B  Plank5, Christine  A  Newman6, Ekaterina  Denisova7.

      Show Abstract

      In the 2013/14 school year Johns Hopkins University and Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) will engage in an NSF funded Math and Science Partnership collaboration to increase science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning outcomes amongst grade 3-5 students in 9 elementary schools located in 3 low-income Baltimore neighborhoods. This Community Enterprise for STEM Learning, the first of its kind nationally, will engage parents, caregivers, teachers, principals, community development corporations, after-school program providers, local high-technology businesses and museums in partnership with faculty, staff and students. The goal of this partnership is to locate STEM in the world of the student by using after school engagement as a launching pad for students to work on STEM projects relevant within the context of their community. Engineering faculty and students will serve as support for these after-school projects. Students' achievements will be highlighted at STEM Recognition Events that engage each neighborhood in a group practice that raises the profile of STEM and extends the opportunities for STEM learning far beyond the classroom. To build the capacity of BCPS to extend these innovations across the entire city engineering faculty will work closely with master teachers and curriculum specialists to adapt project-based STEM curriculum and create focused content-rich STEM professional development for teachers throughout the district. Teachers in the target neighborhoods will be engaged in STEM Learning Communities that involve non-evaluative peer review to disseminate best practices within and across these schools. The outcomes of this effort will be studied using a variety quantitative and qualitative data collection methods including comparison to control schools via student test data, tracking of student outcomes, videotaped classroom observations, focus groups, surveys, and pre-/post- tests regarding teacher content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge.

      2:15 PM - EEE4.03

      Shanandoah Valley Nanoscience Outreach Collaboration

      Costel  Constantin1, Christopher  Wm  Hughes1, Brian  H  Augustine1, Scott  Paulson1.

      Show Abstract

      At a time when the rapid advances in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology require an increasing number of skilled personnel, coincidentally, the recruitment of U.S. students to science is at an all time low. According to the NSF by the year 2015 there will be a need for two million workers worldwide in these fields. Of these, nearly one million will be needed in the U.S. Furthermore, an additional of five million workers will be needed in support areas for these fields. To develop this workforce, inclusion of nanotechnology into K-12 education should start with the primary education (PE) and continue all the way to high school (HS) level. James Madison University (JMU) faculty and K-12 teachers founded in 2011 the Shenandoah Valley Nanoscience Outreach Collaboration (SVNOC) effort. The goal of SNVOC is to help K-12 teachers incorporate nanoscience concepts into their classrooms. In this work we present how SVNOC participants use the Nanodays experimental kits to help students understand basic nanotechnology principles such as “How small is small?” Our preliminary results show that for PE the best experiments are the ones that are outside the operating schema of kids so they can stimulate further research. At the HS level, there is a consensus that students need more challenging mathematics that can be extracted from these experimental kits.

      2:30 PM - EEE4.04

      From the Bench to the Blackboard: Research-inspired Laboratory Experiments and a Survey Instrument to Assess Their Impact on Students' Awareness of and Attitudes toward Scientific Research

      Mary  E.  Anzovino1, A.  E.  Greenberg2, J.  W.  Moore1.

      Show Abstract

      Producing an educated, informed public is an important goal for colleges and universities. We are developing a program to incorporate research-inspired experiments into the general chemistry laboratory, in hopes of increasing students' awareness of research and shifting their attitudes toward research in a positive direction. This presentation will describe new laboratory experiments in the areas of surfactant chemistry and oxidation kinetics, both inspired by ongoing research in the UW-Madison Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center. We will also discuss design of a valid, reliable survey instrument for assessing student awareness of and attitudes toward scientific research. Though a wide variety of instruments do exist to examine attitudes toward science or particular subfields such as chemistry, there is not currently an assessment specifically focused on scientific research, and our work aims to fill that void.

      2:30 PM - EEE4.05

      Mango Plantations and Dairy Farms: A Cross-cultural RET Site Program with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez

      Ben  Taylor1, A.  L.  Gillian-Daniel1, G.  M.  Zenner Peterson1, S.  Mercado Feliciano2, N.  Cardona Martinez3.

      Show Abstract

      Since the summer of 2011, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (UW-MRSEC) and the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez (UPRM) have collaborated to offer their local K-12 teachers the opportunity to learn about cutting edge research in materials science and engineering and to create classroom educational materials based upon that research through a joint Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program. In addition to allowing teachers the opportunity to participate in a six-week summer research and professional development experience, each year’s program includes a capstone exchange week, during which the RET teachers and project team go to UW or UPRM for a week-long exchange of research, teaching modules, and cultural experiences. This cross-cultural RET program, run in conjunction with the Wisconsin - Puerto Rico Partnership for Research and Education in Materials [Wi(PR)2EM], allows for an institutional collaboration between an R1 and a minority-serving institution, and acts as a template for similar partnerships between other institutions.

      2:45 PM -


      Show Abstract

      3:15 PM - EEE4.06

      Science and Cooking at Harvard University

      Naveen  Sinha1, Otger  Campas2, Amy  Rowat3, Joan  Abrams4, Joshua  Bridger5, Kathryn  Hollar1, Daniel  Rosenberg1, Pia  Sorensen1, Heloise  Vilaseca6, Michael  Brenner1, David  Weitz1.

      Show Abstract

      We have developed a way to introduce concepts in soft matter physics to a variety of audiences, using science and cooking. In this presentation, we will discuss how we used food and cooking to introduce quantitative materials science concepts to undergraduates, as well as public and K-12 audiences.
      Over the past three years, a variety of collaborations between chefs and scientists have led to new ways to educate students about the physical sciences. In its third year, “Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft Matter”, taught by Prof. Michael Brenner and Prof. David Weitz, with support from the Alícia Foundation in Spain, combines lectures from world-famous chefs, edible lab experiments, and an independent culinary research project to teach all levels of Harvard undergraduates about the physical sciences. The students are assessed using written problem sets and exams, which cover a range of topics in soft matter science. By the end of the course, students are able to explain the science behind concepts like gelation, emulsification, and diffusion in terms of cooking. They are then able to use an “equation of the week” to relate the macroscopic properties of food to its microscopic structure. Students also learn how to do controlled experiments with food, building upon the recipes developed by the visiting chef lecturers.
      This undergraduate class has been adapted for various audiences. A public lecture series, paired with the visits by the visiting chefs, is attended by several hundred people every week and has been viewed by tens of thousands across the world, on YouTube and iTunes. A high school version of the course has been developed, with a focus on introducing students to concepts that were relevant to materials science, biotechnology and the engineering design process. More recently, a two-week “Science and Cooking for Kids” program, brought together local chefs and Harvard researchers to teach twenty 8- to 11-year-olds about basic concepts in math, physics, chemistry, and biology. Each day featured several science demos and associated mathematics, which were incorporated into healthy recipes that the students could make at home.

      3:30 PM - EEE4.07

      Managing Effective Evaluation of Informal STEM Education Projects

      Kirsten  M  Ellenbogen1 2, Darrell  Porcello3.

      Show Abstract

      It can be difficult to evaluate the brief, episodic, STEM learning experiences that are characteristic of cart demonstrations, science blogs, exhibits, and even training programs in informal science education. Five minutes of a volunteer-led activity at a demonstration cart may seem like an eternity when compared to a forty-second interaction with an exhibit, and neither may appear to have measurable learning outcomes. This presentation will build upon key documents, including the “Learning Science in Informal Environments” report from the National Research Council, the NSF’s “Framework for Evaluating Impacts of Informal Science Education Programs” and the “PI’s Guide to Managing Evaluation in Informal Science Education Projects.” Discussion will include examples from the Nanoscience Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net) and other projects to offer well-tested approaches to identifying realistic outcomes, evaluating across interconnected, brief experiences, and embedding assessments into program design. Critical issues that are specific to managing evaluation in broader impact programs will be considered, including everything from selecting an evaluator who meets project needs to writing evaluation and program reports that are framed to be interesting and useful in the scientific research community.

      3:45 PM - EEE4.08

      Materials, Design, and Innovation in Nonmajors Science Education

      Jonathan  B  Puthoff1, Anne  Bentley2, Kellar  Autumn1, Julio  dePaula2.

      Show Abstract

      In-depth materials science course offerings are crucial for training the next generation of researchers in many pure and applied fields. However, translating discoveries from the laboratory into domestic and industrial settings requires contributions from professionals outside of these strictly technical areas. Providing non-major students instruction in core scientific ideas and illustrating the myriad pathways by which these ideas become innovative technologies should be an additional goal of science and engineering programs. “Technologies of the Future” (ToF) is a novel course for non-science/engineering majors in which students participate in team-based laboratory and design projects with modern materials systems. After learning about a phenomenon or physical principle in class, students are given the opportunity to explore it in lab and are tasked with the design of a novel device that incorporates it. Example laboratory topics include superhydrophobic surfaces and dye-sensitized solar cells. In the design phase, instructors act as “consultants”, lending their expertise to students unfamiliar with engineering analysis or ancillary physical concepts. Summative activities are designed to leverage the diverse talents of the interdisciplinary teams of students. The course concepts and activities are designed to prepare students for both a modern workplace that requires innovative thinking and a modern world in which emerging technologies offer solutions to pressing environmental and social problems.

      4:00 PM - EEE4.09

      NOMS Education and Dissemination: Lab-to-market and Lab-to-classroom

      Eva  M  Campo1.

      Show Abstract

      We have laid out earlier a global education and dissemination map conciliating a lab-to-market pathway with a profound involvement of society at large. In that map, specific education activities disseminate recent scientific findings, generating up-to-date knowledge likely to cradle a sense of inclusion in the development chain, leading to increased consumer acceptance. Nanotechnology focus groups and other funding agencies studies, have concluded that consumer acceptance of highly novel technologies is an education-driven effort, that requires attention early-on during the stage of technology development.
      The development of refreshable tactile displays as inclusive technology for the visually impaired is a cornerstone of smart material systems. Indeed, thermal, electrical, and optical-based tablets have been proposed in the last decade and some prototypes are in existence. However, little effort has been done to disseminate these findings within the end-user community; paving the way for later consumer acceptance and ease of adoption.
      In this paper, we present a work plan for the dissemination of refreshable, photoactuatable tactile displays to the visually impaired, serving both lab-to-market and lab-to-classroom initiatives. The work plan will be designed in accordance with the logic model, following indications of the National Academy of Sciences.

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