FFF3: Exploring Innovative Educational Paths in MS&E
Chair: Marilyn L. Minus
Chair: Vuk Uskokovic
- Wednesday AM, April 23, 2014
- Moscone West, Level 2, Room 2012
8:15 AM - *FFF3.01
Advancing Graduate Education and Research in the Chemical Sciences
Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.Show Abstract
Chemistry and the work of chemical scientists have contributed greatly to human progress. Yet, today humanity faces many daunting challenges, including population growth, finite resources, malnutrition, spreading disease, deadly violence, war, climate change, and the denial of basic human rights, especially the right to benefit from scientific and technological progress. Chemical scientists can and should address these challenges to Earth and its people, but they can do this only if they are well prepared. For more than half a century, steady financial support for research and education in the chemical sciences has given the United States distinguished graduate programs that attract talent from around the world. But are the current practices of training the next generation of scientists still working for students and for society? In this talk I shall discuss findings and conclusions of a blue-ribbon commission that I convened in 2012 as president of the American Chemical Society to consider this question. The commission developed practical recommendations that can be adopted or adapted by graduate educational institutions, federal and state funding agencies, and business and industry. The proposals include radical changes that will advance graduate education and more effectively engage the nation’s vast educational, industrial, and government resources in order to successfully prepare students for their individual careers and to meet global human needs over the next 50 years.
8:45 AM - *FFF3.02
The Molecularium® Project - Creating Media for Stealth Education
Materials Science and Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, USA.Show Abstract
The importance of stimulating and capturing young people’s interest in the world around them and how that world is made up of atoms, molecules, and materials cannot be over estimated. This interest and initial learning begins at a very early age, long before any formal schooling begins. In order to encourage children to become interested in materials at an early age, and to help those others not particularly interested in materials become science literate, we (Linda Schadler, Shekhar Garde, and I - see “Molecularium Explores the World of Materials”, Materials Research Society Bulletin 30, 132-133, 2005) initiated the Molecularium® Project at Rensselaer more than a decade ago, funded by the Division of Materials Research at the U. S. National Science Foundation. This successful effort has now created two digital movies, the first an award winning digital-dome presentation "Molecularium - Riding Snowflakes" (2005), the second a giant-screen show for IMAX and other large-format theaters "Molecules to the MAX!" (2009), both now translated into the world’s major languages and distributed worldwide. Most recently, we have created an award winning Web-based educational theme park "NanoSpace®" (2012) that features a number of short videos, games, and thematic areas including Materials Boulevard that can stimulate and capture young people’s interest, as did our earlier movies, through entertainment with significant scientific content - stealth education. This talk will describe many features of the media produced by the Molecularium Project (www.molecularium.com) and how its products are being used by children, parents and teachers to develop science literacy and entice eager young minds toward the exciting world of material science.
9:15 AM -
9:45 AM - FFF3.03
Chemical Reactions as Petite Rendezvous: The Use of Metaphor in Materials Science Education
Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.Show Abstract
Every time we communicate our science, we are involuntarily involved in an educational activity, affecting the listeners’ methodology and motivation. In a beautiful metaphor, the late Nobel Laureate, Richard E. Smalley, compared interacting atoms and molecules to boys and girls falling in love. Elaborated and exemplified with a couple of entertaining analogies in this presentation will be the well-known effectiveness of the use of metaphors in illustrating scientific concepts to both scientific novices and peers. Human brain has been considered to be a complex neural circuitry for the computation of metaphors, which explains the naturalness of its usage, especially when solid arguments could be given in support of the thesis that scientific imagery in general presents a collection of mathematically operable metaphors. On top of this, knowledge could be enriched through logic alone, but new concepts could be learned only through analogies. The greater pervasion of metaphors in scientific presentations could boost their inspirational potential, make the audience more attentive and receptive to its content, and, finally, expand their educational prospect and enable their outreach to a far broader audience than it has been generally accomplished.
10:00 AM - *FFF3.04
Understanding Nanotechnology Through Material Science
, 4 SIGHT INC., Huntsville, Alabama, USA.Show Abstract
Non traditional methods of science education must be explored in order to reach underrepresented groups in our communities. Experimental laboratory experiences are needed to supplement classroom lectures at the public schools for underrepresented students. This is especially true for specialized areas such as material science and nanotechnology. Therefore, we have implemented material science applications as part of a student project course for high school students. The focus is to provide an interactive hands-on experience in material science and characterization of nano structures. 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.
10:30 AM - FFF3.05
Evolution of Material Science Content in a NanoScience Technologist Program
NanoScience, Dakota County Technical College, Rosemount, Minnesota, USA.Show Abstract
In 2004 Dakota County Technical College initiated an AAS degree program in NanoScience. Because of the rich industry base of the region the designed program was multi-disciplinary encompassing nanoelectronics, nanobiotechnology and nanomaterials. Program content is application and industry need driven and supplemented by recent research findings. As is often the case with nanoscale science, lines between traditional science areas tend to become blurred. Materials science concepts are critical to the understanding of nanoelectronics and nanobiotech. One aspect of this presentation will be to discuss the interdependency and developed educational approaches.
Within the material science content use of problems, simulations and hands-on learning with nanomechanical indenters has evolved over the years of the program. The evolution of content has been formed by industry input and applications, nanoscience discoveries and new product development. Recent research results, such as those contributing to understanding the strength of the abalone shell have been used as project based learning activities within the curriculum and have enhanced the materials science content.
Material science content, evolution of that content, lessons learned and use in grades from middle school through undergraduate levels will be discussed.
10:45 AM - FFF3.06
Improving Materials Selection in a Mechanical Engineering Capstone Course
Mechanical and Industrial Eng., Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.Show Abstract
The Capstone Design course in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northeastern University requires students to build a physical prototype by the end of the two semester sequence. Although students have long been required to take an introductory materials science course as part of their curriculum, there was concern that materials selection was a weakness in the design process. Beginning in Fall 2011, the CES Edupack materials selection software was introduced into the Capstone Design class. The current work means to investigate: 1) how to assess designs for effective materials selection 2) whether the new software was actually used by the student teams and 3) whether there was evidence of improved materials selection in the projects that occurred after the new software was introduced. Final capstone design reports from 10 previous terms were examined to look for evidence of systematic materials selection procedures and clear discussion of materials properties as the basis for selecting a material. References to the software were also noted. Preliminary results show that 24% of the groups used the CES Software in the first three terms that the software was available. In addition, there was an increase in the number of groups that used a systematic selection process based on research into published materials properties, rather than choosing materials based on rough experimentation or convenience. Finally, there has been an increase in the number of projects which consider or incorporate composites, high temperature alloys, and advanced polymers as the software has increased awareness of these options.
11:00 AM - FFF3.07
Ferrofluid for In-Flow Environmental Remediation: A High School Classroom-Compatible Demonstration
Chopra1 2, Kuldeep
Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; 2,
Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; 3,
, Holy Spirit Catholic High School, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; 4,
, Hillcrest High School, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; 5,
Department of Education, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA.Show Abstract
Nanotechnology and nanoscience have strong potential for entering energy and environmental remediation markets. Thus, it becomes important to develop workforce in this sector. Towards this end, the early stimulation of research interests of younger generation is desirable. Here, we report the development two technologies in the form of high school models: a) utilization of ferrofluid for environmental remediation by establishing an in-flow reactor set-up and b) establishing an electrospinning-based sponge for absorbing contamination. This effort was led by a team of graduate students, faculty advisor, potential high school teacher, and high school students. All the team members combined their knowledge and vision of a classroom needs in the direction of environmental remediation and developed the experimental set-ups for ferrofluid-based textile dye removal from water. To make this removal more effective, electrospinning method was developed to prepare superabsorbent out of ferrofluids. Further, the team investigated the role of various parameters in achieving an effective remediation. The parameters were amount of ferrofluid used, concentration of contaminants, duration of contaminant flow, and dimensions of the set-up. The most optimized remediation conditions were established and the models were made compatible to the classroom setting. It is envisioned that the integration of the developed experimental modules into high school curriculum will motivate high school students to pursue degrees in science, engineering, and nanotechnology. Thus, this will assist in the development of future workforce in the area of nanotechnology and materials science.
11:15 AM - FFF3.08
Thermoelectric Material Synthesis and Characterization in Upper-Level Undergraduate Laboratory Classes
Chemistry, Hope College, Holland, Michigan, USA.Show Abstract
Thermoelectric nanomaterial synthesis was incorporated in an upper-level inorganic laboratory class to introduce students to solution-phase solid-state chemistry and material characterization techniques. This project complimented research in the Anderson group with a focus on understanding reaction pathways for the formation of PbTe and Bi2Te3. Results obtained within the laboratory classroom demonstrated the reproducibility of key growth stages and contributed to the study by elucidating an intermediate that previously had not been identified.
Material science topics beyond the typical inorganic curricula were introduced through this guided research project. Through a pre-lab lecture, motivation for this research was given within the context of the need for alternative energy and the necessary requirements for the materials implemented (i.e. high energy conversion, low production costs). An emphasis on how nanostructuring improves thermoelectrics was given to motivate the bottom-up modified polyol synthesis that they would be conducting. Students then gave literature presentations on the topic to gain an overview of the methods and materials relevant in the field. A guided inquiry activity using CrystalMaker software introduced students to solid crystal structures and their simulated XRD patterns.
This was a five week lab with three different rounds of synthesis performed by students. The first round involved following a provided procedure to make a known target, the second had students change one variable under investigation (reaction temperature), and the third permitted them freedom in choosing to alter an additional variable or to pursue a different material target. Every product was characterized by XRD and at least one was examined by SEM and EDS (oftentimes all were). Students were able to have hands-on experience with all instrumentation with assistance from a TA. Results were presented in a lab meeting with a powerpoint presentation as well as submitted in a report written in journal article format, incorporating information from the pre-lab lecture, literature presentations, and solid crystal structure activity into the Introduction section.
11:30 AM - FFF3.09
Educational Offsprings of the Crystallography Open Database and Their Usage in Interdisciplinary College Education
Snyder2 1, Werner
, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, USA; 2,
, XEROX, Wilsonville, Oregon, USA; 3,
, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.Show Abstract
The Crystallography Open Database (COD) features more than 240,000 entries and has in recent years developed into the world’s premier open-access source for structures of small molecules and small to medium sized unit cell crystals . The COD complements (rather than duplicates) with its coverage the well established open-access Worldwide Protein Data Bank . The Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre provides crystal structure data of small molecules for bona fide researches on a one by one basis for free . There is also a project related to the COD that provides crystallographic open-access databases  (“COD offsprings”) for interdisciplinary college education. All of these databases store crystallographic information in the CIF  format.
This contribution concentrates on open-access crystallographic databases for educational purposes . Its aim is to share with fellow college educators how these databases may enrich materials science and engineering education. For example, utilizing two freely downloadable programs by Werner Kaminsky [5,6], we converted recently crystallographic information from CIF  to the standard STL format for 3D printing. Printed 3D models of the hexagonal and cubic densest packings as well as of the three cubic Bravais lattices have been obtained from Xerox with the help of Trevor Snyder and will be used by Peter Moeck in a 300 level “Introduction to Nanoscience and Nanotechnology course” . Since CIFs are readily available over the Internet [1-4] for free, any interested college educator may follow us, print out her or his favorite crystallographic structure model in 3D, and use it in hands on class room demonstrations also. On such occasions, one might even like to talk about the UNESCO 2014 International Year of Crystallography  in class.
 http://www.crystallography.net/, American mirror: http://nanocrystallography.org/.
 http://www.wwpdb.org/.  http://www.ccdc.cam.ac.uk/Community/
Requestastructure/Pages/DataRequest.aspx?.  http://nanocrystallography.research.pdx.
edu.  http://www.iucr.org/resources/cif.  http://cad4.cpac.washington.edu/cif2vrmlhome/cif2vrml.htm.  http://cad4.cpac.washington.edu/WinXMorphHome/WinXMorph.htm.  NSF grant NEU: Nano-Science & Engineering: A STE Minor with General Education, EEC-1242197.  http://iycr2014.org/.
11:45 AM - FFF3.10
MRS Materials Outreach for Rural Education: Hands-On Science to Excite Young Minds
, Vanderbilt University, LaVergne, Tennessee, USA.Show Abstract
The vision of the Materials Research Society (MRS) is to provide a “framework in which the materials discipline can convene, collaborate, integrate, and advocate.” The Vanderbilt/Fisk Universities' Chapter of the MRS recently initiated a program to utilize our interdisciplinary group of scientists to bring hands-on science lessons to rural middle schools in the state of Tennessee and help integrate these students and teachers into the growing field of materials science. These schools are rarely, if ever, exposed to hands-on science lessons, much less the field of materials science. By using MRS student volunteers, we have been able to bring scientists from a variety of levels and fields to two rural middle schools to teach interactive lessons that adhere to the standards within the state. The volunteers have taught the middle school students directly and provided instruction to middle school science teachers on new hands-on lessons. To achieve our goal of bringing these lessons to isolated and currently inaccessible schools, we have collaborated with other organizations at Vanderbilt with experience bringing hands-on science to the schools around Vanderbilt which include Vanderbilt Students Volunteering for Science and Vanderbilt's NASA Aerospace team. These efforts have lead to the exposure of over 1000 rural Tennessee students to material scientists and their field.