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
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.
 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
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
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, Howtosmile.org, Informalcommons.org, NASAwavelength.org).
9:45 AM -
10:15 AM - EEE3.04
Engaging Community College Students in Materials Research
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
Lewis, Ka Yee
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
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
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?
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
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)
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
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
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
Zenner Peterson, S.
Mercado Feliciano, N.
Cardona Martinez.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 -
3:15 PM - EEE4.06
Science and Cooking at Harvard University
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
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
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
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.