Ian Ferguson, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Zakya Kafafi, Lehigh University
Sergio Mejia, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon
Joanna Millunchick, University of Michigan
Symposium Support NISE Network
A2: Materials Educationmdash;Engaging Students in the Classroom
Monday PM, November 30, 2015
Sheraton, 3rd Floor, Fairfax A
2:30 AM - *A2.01
Approaches to Multi-Mode Foundational Teaching of Energy and Sustainability
David S. Ginley 1 David Cahen 2
1National Renewable Energy Laboratory Golden United States2Weizmann Inst. Rehovot IsraelShow Abstract
Increasingly, the subjects of energy and sustainability are intertwined as they are always co-dependent. Renewable energy or comparative energy in the context of sustainability has not had a clear place in the curriculum of many schools from mid-school to upper level graduate studies. However, the need to teach these topics in context is key to developing the next generation of materials scientists, to assure that they will have a broad balanced perspective. It is important that these topics need not only to have a more global context but must include the areas of economics, sociology and policy to have a balanced context. This is not easily done in the current educational environment. Given the global nature of the challenge of sustainable renewable energy and more importantly the ways to meet this challenge, it is important to assure that the broad and balanced view is taught to a wide international community.. How to create an educated community that shares a common vocabulary and set of definitions turns out to be a very significant challenge. Over the past 10 years we have experimented with a number of approaches to develop such broad-based understanding including, International Schools, Workshops, a textbook and a journal, an international energy center etc.
A specific example includes the International School on “Materials for Renewable Energy” which has been held every 2 years since 2010 in Erice Italy, which brings together multiple nationalities to hear diverse lectures and to form teams working on energy problems which has nucleated a community of students in this area. Another example is the development of an undergraduate textbook Fundamentals of Materials for Energy and Environmental Sustainability by David S. Ginley and David Cahen, designed specifically to address the diversity of topics underlying energy and sustainability. More recently a new review journal MRS Energy and Sustainability: a Review Journal was established, which emphasizes inclusion of a discussion of broader context (soft science aspects) of technical and scientific issues in energy and sustainability. We will also discuss our experience in SERIIUS (the Solar Energy Institute for India and the US - ww.seriius.org) a collaborative research center.
This talk will discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses of each approach and the lessons learned in how to convey complex mixed topics across an international community. All of the potential vehicles have some unique characteristics, which can be employed and some inherent weaknesses.
3:00 AM - A2.02
A Module for Teaching Ceramic Processing to Children with Dyslexia
Corinne E. Packard 1 Barbara M. Moskal 1
1Colorado School of Mines Golden United StatesShow Abstract
Relevant, hands-on instruction is an effective way to reach any student, but can be particularly effective for under-represented groups. For dyslexic students, who normally lag behind their peers in reading due to difficulties in recognizing and processing certain symbols, the use of hands-on demonstration and individual manipulation of 3D objects to relay scientific concepts is preferred to reading- or writing-based tasks. Through interactions with the Trefny Institute for Educational Innovation, we have developed an age- and ability-appropriate module explaining ceramic processing for the Rocky Mountain Dyslexia Camp, a 5-week summer program for children aged 7-13 who are diagnosed with dyslexia. In developing new content for the camp, the module relies almost entirely on hands-on, discovery-based activities. These activities show the students that they are capable of successfully conducting scientific inquiry and provide an opportunity to promote interest in STEM careers for students who, without intervention, might not be encouraged to pursue such an academically demanding path.
3:15 AM - A2.03
Establishment of Undergraduate Level Computational Materials Science Curriculum at Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Lanting Zhang 1 Zhaohui Jin 1
1Shanghai Jiaotong Univ Shanghai ChinaShow Abstract
It is essential to teach computational materials science at undergraduate levels, not only because it helps students developing necessary skills to understand materials better, but also provides them an opportunity to gain insights for future material developments. Since 2006, we have started a course featuring computational materials at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Our experiences suggest that the practice is worthwhile and successful.
The one-semester course is mandatory, aiming to senior undergraduate students at the school of material sciences and engineering. Fundamental computational methods are emphasized by focusing on several classical materials problems from which the students may understand the “structure-property” relationship of materials at multiscales. By arranging the course into three modules or categories according to methods characterized by different space and time scales, a link from molecular modeling to finite elements methods can be easily built-up.
For instance, at atomic levels the molecular dynamics methods are emphasized by demonstrating how powerful such methods can be in terms of lattice defects. By observing lattice dislocations and measuring energies and stress fields about them, a complete physical picture of dislocation can be built up in combination with elasticity theory and experiments. Although the task is challenging to most students, they often show up significant interests and enthusiasm to handle it. In such a way, valuable expertise can be developed, which is difficult to be achieved in other courses.
More than one third of the course is devoted to hands-on experiments with computers. Lab facilities including both hardware and software are necessary. Learning by practicing is the key feature of our course. Visualization is another feature suitable for undergraduate students since it provides vivid understanding of abstract contents. Following the undergraduate course, higher-level graduate courses are also established in our school.
3:30 AM - A2.04
Summer Research Placements - State-of-the-Art Science by Pre-University Students
Radu Alexandru Sporea 1 Simon Lygo-Baker 2
1University of Surrey Guildford United Kingdom2University of Surrey Guildford United KingdomShow Abstract
It has been recognized for some time that there are significant shortcomings to the preparedness of UK pre-university students for undergraduate degrees in engineering. This is due, to some extent, to the apparent disconnect between the disparate Science subjects taught in school and the continuum of notions required in Engineering, Electronics and Materials in particular: Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Programming, etc.
Here we discuss lessons learnt during a series of small scale summer research placements in our Institute, and reflect on the applicability of our conclusions to the general pre-university student population.
Summer research placements of four to six weeks have been hosted by academics in our department for the past decade. These are run as part of a UK-wide scheme coordinated by the Nuffield Foundation, and locally by SATRO. High-achieving sixth-form (typically 16 year-old) students are paired with university scientists and practising engineers, usually one-to-one and based on common technical interests. Unlike science festival stands, University open days, or engineering activities in schools, placements are built around a genuine research question. Since 2013, R. A. Sporea has hosted nine placement students.
Emphasis was placed, naturally, on the learning experience of the students and on research quality. Students appear to have treated their opportunity as more than a summer job, and this was aided by the “cool factor” associated with using bespoke machinery and high performance computers and being associated with a leading educational institution. A significant outcome has been the generation of new Applied Physics research data, either published or being submitted to highly-respected, peer-reviewed conferences and journals. Placements appear to have been very successful, particularly given the fairly short duration.
Skills developed include: working independently and with others, learning and applying research methods and technical expertise, research project planning, data analysis and presentation, scientific writing, and communicating research findings to the public. Students reported an enhanced understanding of both research and the topic, and were able to make more informed choices concerning future university options and courses. At the same time, the placements were used as a testing ground for teaching techniques and research group management practices; useful to a junior researcher aspiring towards an academic career.
While translating this approach directly to larger cohorts with a wide spread of ability is not straightforward, the learning gained from these projects could inform the development of more efficient engineering educational activities for pre-university students. This learning is supported by the outcomes of our summer placements, especially considering their relatively short time frame, and it also includes observations on what might motivate scientists and engineers to participate.
3:45 AM - A2.05
Implementation of Active Learning/Studio Format Introductory Physics at Kalamazoo College: 4 Years of Faculty and Student Experiences
Thomas R. Askew 1 Alissa N. Neff 1 S. Elizabeth McDowell 1
1Kalamazoo College Kalamazoo United StatesShow Abstract
At Kalamazoo College, we teach only one introductory physics course sequence, bringing together students from physics, pre-engineering, chemistry, and biology. Our students declare a major in their second year, so our combined course gives students interested in multidisciplinary science maximum flexibility in choosing a major. The sequence is calculus-based, and typically enrolls about 100 students per year. About 60% of the students are Sophomore Chemistry majors, while about 30% are First-years, mostly intereted in Physics and/or our program in dual-degree engineering. About 50% of the students have strong interests in medical careers, and perhaps 25% will eventually enter medical school. Because our students are diverse in preparation and academic interests, our experiences should have broad applicability within the STEM subjects.
Over the last four years, we have transitioned the structure of our introductory physics sequence from a lecture/lab/discussion format with some interactive engagement to a studio/workshop format where small-group problem solving and discussion are combined with hands-on and computer-based activities. We have also shifted from traditional homework/midterm/final exam assessments to a mastery-based system of daily quizzes on explicit learning objectives, graded on a pass/fail scale, with some opportunities for reassessment.
Our studio format is essentially a “flipped” classroom. Students are responsible for reading before class, enforced with daily reading quizzes, so the bulk of our class time can be spent on problem solving and activities, including interactive computer simulations. To engage our diverse student population, we prioritize topics that are broadly applicable and exercises that highlight applications in other disciplines.
To measure the efficacy of the changes to our course format and assessment structure, we use physics-specific concept inventories (Force Concept Inventory and Conceptual Survey on Electricity and Magnetism) to measure learning gain through pre- and post-testing. We also use an attitude survey (Maryland Physics Expectation Survey), as well as a general test of scientific reasoning ability (Lawson Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning) and course evaluation data.
The first full year of implementation of the studio format was marked by the highest learning gains we had measured in ten years of data on the concept inventories, but also by high levels of student dissatisfaction on the course evaluations. Subsequent modifications have improved student satisfaction with the course sequence, while learning gains have returned to similar levels to those measured in our previous format. Similarly, we see an inverse relationship between learning gains on the concept inventories and attitudes about the nature of physics and how to learn it, as measured by the Maryland Physics Expectation Survey.
4:30 AM - *A2.06
Bridging Engineering and Social Sciences through the Impact of Materials on Society Course
Kevin S Jones 1 Sophia Krzys-Acord 2
1University of Florida Gainesville United States2University of Florida Gainesville United StatesShow Abstract
In an effort to increase the social literacy of the engineer and the technical literacy of the non-engineer a new course entitled the Impact of Materials on Society (IMOS) has been developed. This class is the result of a collaboration between faculty at the University of Florida, staff at MRS headquarters and MRS member scientists. The undergraduate course was intended to increase interest and competency in materials science and engineering by demonstrating the important social role of materials discovery and engineering in human civilizations from pre-history to the future. This course unites materials engineers, humanities researchers, social scientists, and science educators to increase the science and social literacy of both engineering and non-engineering majors. The course works by combining three elements in weekly units focusing on different material case studies (such as silicon, concrete, and iron). Each materials unit combines three elements: (1) an overview of the discovery, material and processing properties, and historical uses of a specific material, (2) a case study of a significant social transformation that involved the material, and (3) an activity that discusses the future social impact of new materials drawing on videos authored by world leading authorities from around the globe. By combining these scientific and social approaches to studying materials, the course demonstrates that materials engineering is not merely the exercise of ‘math and science&’ but also involves “creative problem-solving” that helps “shape our future” by improving our “health, happiness, and safety”. In this way, the course directly addresses the ABET engineering criterion, “(h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context”, and shows that an exposure to the social context in which research and engineering takes place is also a critical component of science education.
The course has been taught several times and enrollment this fall 2015 will top 180 students. Follow up studies have shown that while some students have changed major into MSE as a result of the class the vast majority of the students did not change into MSE but still said it was the best class they have taken. All students reported that this course ‘tied together&’ their general education requirements by demonstrating the links between different disciplinary areas. Engineering students reported learning how their humanities and social science training would benefit their engineering career, and humanities and social science students reported an improved understanding of how scientific research and expertise is important in their daily lives. This course demonstrates that more holistic approaches to undergraduate education can overcome the disciplinary silos that limit innovative thinking in today&’s universities. It also suggests that the subject of ‘materials&’ is a universal terrain that can engage students and scholars from a wide array of disciplinary backgrounds.
5:00 AM - A2.07
Toward a New Model of Science Learning, Teaching, and Communication
Oludurotimi O Adetunji 1 Roger Levine 2
1Brown University Providence United States2Independent Consultant Redwood City United StatesShow Abstract
Sci-Toons is a new, experimental, teaching and learning approach that engages students in materials science research via interaction with experts, narrative, visual representations, iterative feedback and multimedia platforms. Based on a model (the Multimedia Theoretical Learning Framework) and multimedia design principles, teams of students (including both science and non-science majors) work with faculty to produce video animations dealing with scientific topics. Two of the eight Sci-Toons that are now publicly accessible on the Internet deal with novel materials science subjects (Graphene and Conductive Polymers); more Sci-toons are in preparation. To date, these videos have been downloaded over 70,000 × the materials science videos have been downloaded by viewers in at least 110 different countries
We will show one of the Sci-Toons and discuss the process and underlying principles used in creating scripts, storyboarding, and video production. We will demonstrate how a materials science video script evolved using word clouds (tagcrowd.com). Google Analytics data about the types of individuals downloading these materials will be presented. With this tool, we were able to observe that the Conductive Polymers animation was downloaded in India nearly as many times as in the United States. Data on age and gender breakdowns of viewers will also be shared, along with selected viewer comments.
Impacts on the college students involved with the creation of these videos were assessed through use of a survey. Results indicated increases in the self-assessed likelihood of pursuing a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics career for students as a result of participation for all of the respondents who were not majoring in a science.
Sci-Toons can be used in both formal and informal educational settings, as well as in communicating materials science to broad audiences and engaging women and underrepresented groups in science. We will also discuss the current and future role of visual media, including animated narratives, in science learning, teaching and communication in both formal and informal education settings and in communicating innovations in materials science to the general public and potential for replicating this model at other universities and in other settings, such as to engage women, non-STEM and underrepresented minorities in materials science and STEM.
5:15 AM - A2.08
Development of an Assessment Tool to Evaluate Instructional Effectiveness in an Introductory Materials Science Course
Patrick Shamberger 1 Eunju Jung 1 Yuanyuan Zhou 2 Raymundo Arroyave 1 3 Miladin Radovic 1 3
1Texas Aamp;M University College Station United States2Texas Aamp;M University College Station United States3Texas Aamp;M University College Station United StatesShow Abstract
Due to the importance of materials as technology enablers, introductory materials science courses are considered essential components of many engineering curricula, independent of students&’ major. Comparison of effectiveness of different instructional methods (including active/collaborative approaches) is typically accomplished through the use of an assessment tool to compare student outcomes under different instructional environments. Here, we analyze the principle existing assessment tool, the Materials Concept Inventory (MCI), and present initial steps towards developing a revised concept inventory specifically targeting assessment of knowledge gain in undergraduate materials science courses.
The MCI was originally developed to both understand student misconceptions and to measure knowledge gain in introductory material science courses (Krause et al., 2003); however, only limited evidence supports the psychometric validation of this concept inventory (Corkins, 2009). We present a study of N = 1038 undergraduate students who completed the MCI test before and after attending an introductory material science course. Our psychometric investigation included extensive item analysis, internal consistency reliability, construct validity, and criterion-related validity. As a result, 1) two specific questions are recommended for exclusion from the MCI, 2) a number of additional items are considered to be subject to revision due to poor performance on one or more measures - in some cases, this is attributable to unclear questions, or to poor topic coverage in the class sections considered, and 3) the sensitivity of the MCI to conceptual gains achieved during the course is relatively low - this is at least partially attributable to the significant number of test items on background concepts (geometry, chemistry) which are not explicitly taught with the traditional introductory materials science courses. We will discuss the implications of these results, as well as initial steps taken towards a new concept inventory under development designed to remedy the shortcomings identified in the MCI.
Corkins, J. (2009). The Psychometric Refinement of the Materials Concept Inventory (MCI). PhD Thesis, Arizona State University.
Krause, S., Decker, J. C., Niska, J., Alford, T., & Griffin, R. (2003). “Identifying student misconceptions in introductory materials engineering classes.” 110th ASEE Annual Conference. Nashville, TN.
5:30 AM - A2.09
An Electron Microscopy Collaboratory for Teaching, Learning and Research
Daniel E Huber 1 Frank Scheltens 1 Hamish L. Fraser 1 David William McComb 1
1The Ohio State Univ Columbus United StatesShow Abstract
We have established an electron microscopy collaboratory for teaching, learning and research. This collaboratory will have a transformative impact on research in a wide range of disciplines including engineering, physical and biological sciences and medicine. State-of-the-art technologies will be used to deliver teaching and research capabilities to geographically distributed students, researchers and collaborators. This collaboratory will revolutionize the teaching of imaging and spectroscopy. The collaboratory provides a mechanism for multidisciplinary research utilizing communication and information technologies to reduce the constraints of distance and time.
The digital environment enables local and non-local users to exploit the full potential of the world-class instrumentation in the Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis (CEMAS) at the Ohio State University (OSU). CEMAS is a custom designed facility in which every microscope meets or exceeds manufacturer performance specifications. CEMAS has a 100 Gb/s connection to the OARnet (www.oar.net) high speed broadband network that allows the electron microscopes to be remotely accessible to potential partners. Delivering effective remote access to multiple institutions in this way is potentially a proof-of-concept for a cost-efficient model for other facilities across the USA and potentially beyond. We have already installed remote operation stations at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton and at the University of Dayton.
The ability to investigate and characterize materials and phenomena requires access to world-class electron microscopes. However, the investment in capital and infrastructure to create a world-leading facility such as CEMAS makes it imperative that as many students, researchers and scientists as possible have access to such facilities. Our electron microscopy collaboratory represents a regional and national center of excellence for materials characterisation. In addition to facilitating collaboration between geographically dispersed institutions, the remote capabilities will enable the instrument to be utilized for teaching and training at all levels of education including high schools to undergraduate colleges, as well as for broader outreach activities.
5:45 AM - A2.10
How the University of British Columbia is Engaging Students in Materials Science through the Synthesis and Characterization of Functional Polymers with Molecularly Controlled Properties
Jose Roberto Rodriguez Nunez 1
1University of British Columbia Vancouver CanadaShow Abstract
The rapid development of Materials Science as a research field has resulted in the modernization of curricula in many higher education institutions. Courses in nanomaterials, synthesis and characterization of materials, polymer science, and surface science are becoming more popular in undergraduate and graduate programs in science and engineering. Unfortunately, most of these courses do not have laboratory components to teach students the practical aspects of Materials Science and Engineering. Lack of well-planned and implemented laboratory experiences are missed opportunities to engage and inspire young scientists interested in this modern field. To better prepare students for careers in the 21st century, the Department of Chemistry at the University of British Columbia has created and implemented three laboratories on the synthesis and characterization of polymeric materials with controllable properties. Two of these laboratories are taught in the more traditional verification format and the other experiment is run in a guided-inquiry format. Upon completion of these laboratories students are assessed on the basis of data analysis and an oral report. This form of assessment has received positive reviews from students and teaching assistants. This talk will briefly present the laboratories and will focus on the challenges of creating and implementing these hands-on learning experiences. The rationale for having verification and guided-inquiry experiences will also be examined. Lastly, feedback on the student and instructor experience in the oral reports will be discussed.
A3: Poster Session
Monday PM, November 30, 2015
Hynes, Level 1, Hall B
9:00 AM - A3.01
Meerkat and Periscope Live-Streaming as a Digital Teaching Tool for Materials Education and Outreach
Trevor Goff 1
1Pennsylvania State Univ Dexter United StatesShow Abstract
In the current environment of ubiquitous technology, there is no shortage of software or digital solutions to educational problems. However, there is clearly no single "silver bullet" solution, especially for a feild with as much variety as materials science and engineering. Adapting these technologies requires time to find the right tool for the right job for both the content and the instructor. Live-streaming apps (Meerkat, Periscope) are a great tool for extending beyond the lecture hall and are easily adapted to meet the needs of a specific class, lecturer, or even outreach programs.
Meerkat and Periscope are the two competing live streaming apps that use Twitter as a means of sharing links to live fees. Both require a Twitter account and allow users to interact with the streamer/broadcaster through text based chat systems. Currently, users are broadcasting face-to-face question and answer sessions, live-stream of an activity (such as cooking or art), tours of locations (museums, homes for sale, "behind the scenes"), and even presentations and lectures. With the inherent felxibility of the live-streaming setup, each streamer can leverage their own skill set to create the type of stream and interaction that works for them.
While there are distinctions between the two apps which may dictate a specific preference for each educator, both give easy access to streaming technology to allow extended engagement with students, including:
1. Ability to engage students who cannot make it to a lecture class or office hours
2. Ability to host office hours from any location
3. Stream lab setup or lab activities
4. Broadcast outreach activities to anywhere in the world
As students look for newer, digital ways to engage in the classroom, Meerkat and Periscope offer interesting opportunities and a low barrier to entry for even technophobic educators.
9:00 AM - A3.02
Materials Science Research Partnership for Curriculum Building
Nathan Tompkins 1 Anique Olivier-Mason 1 Seth Fraden 1
1Brandeis University Waltham United StatesShow Abstract
The Brandeis University MRSEC is designing a course to communicate the innovative materials science research being conducted to a high school audience. This course is intended as a series of informal science space workshops to develop teaching modules through collaborative curriculum design. Each workshop pairs the participating educators with a scientist to form a partnership for curriculum building. The modules will translate current materials science research into hands-on learning experiences for the students. Participants will develop lesson plans, experiments, and materials in a partnership with a scientist to take back to their classrooms. Additionally, when the learning module is taught, the scientist partner will visit the classroom to help answer questions and bring the science to life for the students. At the end of the course, participants will be able to teach an innovative materials-science module based on current research in their own classroom.
9:00 AM - A3.03
Development of a Concept Inventory for Structure of Materials
Todd C. Hufnagel 1 Michael Reese 1 Amy Brusini 1
1Johns Hopkins University Baltimore United StatesShow Abstract
The central paradigm of materials science and engineering is that the structure of a material is determined by how that material is processed, and that the structure in turn determines many important properties of the material. Because understanding structure is essential for materials science and engineering undergraduates, it is desirable to have a reliable, validated concept inventory to assess student mastery of key concepts.
Here we report the results of the first stage of a project to develop a concept inventory on topics related the structure of materials. To identify topics that are both important for students to understand and that students find difficult to master, we used a Delphi process in which we surveyed a diverse group of subject-matter experts at ~30 universities. As expected, the variance in responses to each topic narrowed as the survey progressed through three rounds. The final ranked list from the survey had a preponderance of topics related to a traditional metallurgy curriculum, probably reflecting the expertise of the survey respondants. To ensure adequate diversity in the concept inventory, we therefore subdivided the topics into three broad categories related to hard materials (including metals and ceramics), soft materials (including polymers and liquid crystals), and characterization (including diffraction and microscopy). We will discuss the survey process and our plans for future stages of the concept inventory development.
9:00 AM - A3.04
Using an Engaged Scholarship Capstone Course to Improve Student Technical Communication, Leadership, and Team Work Skills
R. Allen Kimel 1 Joshua A. Robinson 1 Ramya Gurunathan 1
1Pennsylvania State Univ University Park United StatesShow Abstract
In spring 2014, we began an engaged scholarship capstone course focused on technical communication, leadership and team work skills. The course was developed in coordination with the Materials Science and Engineering department and College of Earth and Mineral Sciences external advisory boards. This course is a semester-long competition that challenges students as individuals, leaders, and teammates by requiring multiple written and oral presentations that are evaluated by peers, faculty, and two industry alumni boards.
As a capstone course, the students are required to draw upon all academic experience to date to propose an original solution to one of the 14 Grand Challenges as set forth by the National Academy of Engineering. The competition begins with all students making individual elevator pitches to their peers and faculty about an original idea to solve one or multiple Grand Challenges. The top quartile of student pitchers become team captains and are assigned a team of peers. This team then prepares a one-page white paper and five minute, one-slide, presentation to be given to an external board of potential sponsors. The board is made of alumni from the department of materials science and engineering and the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. From the white paper down-select, eight to nine teams move forward to a full proposal presentation, given to a new external board of potential sponsors, and a chance to win $1000.00.
The course has received an award for innovative teaching and the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Alumni Board has received an award for student interaction based on their work with the course. We will present data from the first two iterations of this course and the lessons learned. We will provide feedback from students and the external boards and discuss how this feedback shaped the current offering of this course.
9:00 AM - A3.05
Inspiring Online Collaborative STEM Learning
Scott A. Sinex 1 Theodore L Chambers 1 Joshua B. Halpern 2
1Prince Georges Community College Largo United States2Howard University Washington United StatesShow Abstract
How can we increase student engagement using a variety of 21st century collaborative techniques is a basic question raised by the Common Core Standards in Mathematics, the Next Generation Science Standards, and ASEE&’s Innovation with Impact? To address this we have developed a variety of introductory laboratory activities, mostly dealing with measurement and error while introducing mathematical modeling. These activities enhance online collaborative skills via group writing, collecting experimental data, student feedback, and assessment using forms, spreadsheets with data pooling, real-time graphing/computations, and discussion using chat which is available in Google Drive, a free cloud-based application. The data pooling aspect allows measurements by groups to produce class statistics on multiple measurements with error brackets in addition to modeling goodness of fit by minimizing random error. Further data analysis and interpretation by group-to-class comparison can be accomplished and discussed via either online laboratory reports or the chat feature, which is another important aspect of the Next Generation Science Standards. From the chat or open class discussion, students find errors and correct them, plus experience constructive peer comments on the quality of their data. Comparisons can be by groups examining data sets for consistency or error in measurements in the class spreadsheet and/or model comparison as group-to-class examination of goodness of fit. The chat feature with lab group sign-ons, accessed using Gmail accounts, allows for semi-anonymous discussion and prompting for supporting evidence and stimulating argumentation moderated by the instructor which with student experience, could be peer-led. We have also introduced student collaborative-pair computational spreadsheet assignments. Results of two projects in general chemistry will be presented. Building formative assessment into activities allows for immediate adjustment to instruction. This approach could be used from middle school through undergraduate education and has potential use in informal education and for remote school partners to enhance interactions. Evaluation feedback from students has been very positive for the variety of activities we have tried as has high school teacher feedback from workshops. We are considering using Google Drive as a laboratory notebook for a new course entitled General Chemistry for Engineers: A Materials Science Approach. The “how-to” instructions plus activities are available at our “Data Pool in the Cloud” website. This work is supported by the NSF Division of Materials Research Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) Grant DMR-1205608.
9:00 AM - A3.07
What Makes Us a Community: Structure, Correlations, and Success in Scientific World
Artem Maksov 1 Sergei V. Kalinin 2 3
1University of Tennessee/Oak Ridge National Laboratory Knoxville United States2Oak Ridge National Laboratory Oak Ridge United States3Oak Ridge National Laboratory Oak Ridge United StatesShow Abstract
As number of scientific publications grows, it becomes more important to understand and quantify the standing and the reputation of members of a given scientific community. However, direct comparisons in larger groups are not always possible due to different measures of productivity, accepted publications types, and other aspects that can impact an attempt to measure such metrics. In order to address this issue, we define a scientific community based on keywords and apply multivariate analysis methods to publication and conference abstract distribution in the author space. Remarkably, this simple statistical analysis of publication metadata allows understanding of internal interactions with community in general agreement with experience acquired over decades of social interaction within it. We further discuss potential applications of this approach for ranking within the community, reviewer selection, and optimization of community output.
This research was supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences (BES), Materials Sciences and Engineering Division (SVK). This research was conducted at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, which is a DOE Office of Science User Facility. AM acknowledges fellowship support from the UT/ORNL Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education.
9:00 AM - A3.08
Involvement of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students in Nanotechnology Research
Paul Sali Sabila 1 Henry David Snyder 1 Tito Huber 2
1Gallaudet University Washington United States2Howard University Washington United StatesShow Abstract
Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (D/HoH) individuals are extremely underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. One way of addressing this need is by providing more opportunities for D/HoH undergraduate students to acquire real-life research experience before graduation. In this paper, we discuss the involvement of D/HoH students from Gallaudet University during the summer 2015 Nanotechnology Internships at Howard University, Washington DC and at Harvard and MIT, Boston. The summer projects are supported by funds from the NSF.
9:00 AM - A3.09
Team Work in an Interdisciplinary Environment: A Cost Effective Method for the Determination of Polymer Molecular Weight
Linxi Zhang 1 Ke Zhu 1 Jessica Kim 2 Jaymo Kang 3 Miriam Rafailovich 1
1Stony Brook University Stony Brook United States2Manhasset High School Manhasset United States3Adlai E. Stevenson High School Lincolnshire United StatesShow Abstract
We have developed a summer research program where high school, undergraduate, and graduate students work in teams to solve problems at the cutting edge of materials science research. Since time is limited, the students must learn the skills they need to operate in the modern research environment very quickly. We have therefore designed a comprehensive experiment, whose goal is to teach students (a) how to make original contributions while working within a team environment, (b) Integrate data from other teams to arrive at a common conclusion and (c) learn fundamental data acquisition, data recording, and statistical analysis techniques. The experiment involves an original method for the determination of the molecular weight of a polymer. Molecular weight determination is a complicated process usually involving GPC or DLS, two methods which are far too costly for application to recycled polymers. Our method involves solubilizing the polymer, generating a thickness vs concentration curve which can be fit to extrapolate the concentration required to produce a 300nm coating. The concentration is then substituted into a relationship determined previously which correlates molecular weight to solution concentration . The experiment is carried out as follows; students are divided into teams, each consisting of two to ten students. Each team is given an unknown polymer product, such as a PS foam cup, PS packing peanut, etc. One or two groups are given a “control” sample of PS with known molecular weight. Each group is also given a Si single crystal wafer. The students perform FTIR to identify the polymer, and cleave the Si wafer. Each group is then subdivided into pairs of students, where each pair is assigned a concentration. Each student spins at least one sample onto the Si wafer, and takes multiple ellipsometric readings of the thickness. Each pair determines the thickness and associated standard deviation corresponding to their solution. The leaders of each team assist the students in plotting the results, fitting the data to a polynomial, extracting the concentration to obtain a 300nm thick film, and determine the molecular weight. Once all teams have presented their results, the instructor can discuss (a) the validity of the technique based on the results presented by the ‘control&’ teams, (b) the importance of repurposing polymers (c) the structure-property relationship associated with different polymer molecular weights, i.e. viscosity, modulus, stability etc. and (d) the structure property of the “original” object and the possible reason for the manufacturers selection of the molecular weight.
Supported in part by the NSF-INSPIRE Program.
 Ulrich Strom (2007). “Garcia Center Leads Students from the Materials Laboratory to the Real World.” MRS Bulletin, 32, pp 728-730. doi:10.1557/mrs2007.151.
 Vladimir Shapovalov, et al. (2000). "Nanostructure formation in spin-cast polystyrene films." Polymer International49: 432-436.
9:00 AM - A3.10
Structuring and Delivering a Web-Based, General Education Course on Materials
Anna C Domask 1 Paul Brown 1
1Pennsylvania State Univ University Park United StatesShow Abstract
Materials Science and Engineering 081 at The Pennsylvania State University is a science general education course taught entirely online to students across the PSU system. The course covers a wide variety of materials topics as they relate to modern technology, public policy, and world history. The overall goal of the course is the creation of a more informed citizenry who possess the basic scientific knowledge and respect for the scientific method needed to participate fully in the democratic process. The course is constantly evolving as science advances and different social issues become relevant. The scientific content of the course is initially introduced via engaging multimedia presentations about topics such as the Fukushima disaster, electric cars, solar energy, infrastructure, and nanomedicine to name a few. Teaching relevant topics is very important so students see the science behind some of societies biggest challenges. The topical content includes defining metals and alloys, ceramics and glasses, and plastics, how they are made, and their structure property relationships. Materials applications discussed include those where the primary concerns are mechanical properties and electromagnetic properties. Since the course is taught entirely online, reaching students and keeping them engaged can be a challenge. In particular, many general education students have been disenchanted with science courses in the past and enter any science class with trepidation, so making the course content interesting and the teaching staff accessible for questions are priorities. Text messaging (SMS) has become an important communication mode because it is already a preferred communication mode for students and is less formal than email. It also permits back and forth discussions of student questions and concerns to occur organically and facilitates the engagement needed in the absence of a traditional classroom setting.
9:00 AM - A3.13
Active Learning and Student Engagement via 3D Printing and Design: Integrating Undergraduate Research, Service Learning, and Cross-Disciplinary Collaborations
Lon A. Porter 1
1Wabash College Crawfordsville United StatesShow Abstract
In order to provide students with the education required to meet the substantial and diverse challenges of the 21st Century, effective programs must continue to take the lead in developing high-impact educational practices. Work by George Kuh and others cites compelling evidence from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) that these educational approaches increase student engagement and retention (Kuh, AAC&U, 2008). We must provide our students with educational opportunities that prepare them for collaborative and innovative problem solving. This year, a 3D design, printing, and fabrication steering group was convened with faculty and staff from a diverse group of academic and support departments across campus. Through generous support from an Independent Colleges of Indiana/Ball Venture Fund Grant, we have established a 3D Printing and Fabrication Center to serve as a nexus for educational STEAM (STEM w/Art) activities on the campus of Wabash College. This resource provides the infrastructure that will stimulate faculty and staff to explore diverse and meaningful cross-disciplinary collaborations related to teaching and learning across campus. New initiatives include the development of first-year seminar courses on design and fabrication, collaborative cross-disciplinary projects that bridge courses in the arts and sciences, 3D printing and fabrication-based undergraduate research internships, and entrepreneurial collaborations with local industry. We plan for these innovative approaches to open the door to greater active learning experiences that empower and prepare students to develop intellectual and practical problem solving skills. Furthermore, service learning projects, community-based opportunities, and global outreach initiatives provide students with a sense of social responsibility, ethical awareness, leadership, and teamwork. Our flagship outreach project will involve collaborations with health professionals and non-profit organizations to produce student designed, 3D printed prosthetic devices. The establishment of a campus 3D Printing and Fabrication Center provides the opportunity to explore exciting innovations in teaching and learning that will enhance the lives of Wabash College students and serve as a model to other institutions. This presentation will report initial results and programmatic goals for the future.
9:00 AM - A3.14
Teaching Outreach as a Learning Experience In Nanotechnology
Chaitanya K. Ullal 1 Elizabeth Herkenham 1 Amy Hee Kim 2 Tara Chklovski 2
1Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst Troy United States2Iridescent Los Angeles United StatesShow Abstract
We report on the results of a small scale study designed to investigate if engineering undergraduates will derive educational benefits by learning, distilling, and communicating concepts in nanotechnology research, while connecting with a broader audience of K-12 students and their families, and other undergraduate students. A 3 credit course was conducted in which undergraduate students learned and used core concepts in nanotechnology research topics of their choosing to design, build and teach hands-on, household materials based design challenges for K-12 students and their parents. Students learned while performing a literature review on their topic, and attending lectures that covered the fundamentals of all the topics chosen. The students designed, tested and redesigned engineering design challenges using low-cost materials based on the nanotechnology concepts and subtopics learned. Students formulated detailed lesson plans to teach the science and engineering concepts to pre-college children and their families in an engaging manner. Finally, the students taught the engineering design challenges and thereby communicated core concepts and the societal and technological implications to underrepresented K-12 students and their community. The activities were assessed by an external evaluator to determine if there is an affective change for the two primary constituencies involved: undergraduate students and the K-12 students and their families.
9:00 AM - A3.15
Using NISEnet Materials to Enhance Materials Science Education and Outreach Programs
Daniel J Steinberg 1 Sergio Aclo 1
1Princeton Univ Princeton United StatesShow Abstract
The Princeton Center for Complex Materials (PCCM) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Materials Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). All MRSECs have active education and outreach programs to complement the interdisciplinary materials science research, facilities and other components of the centers. The internet hub MRSEC.org has a substantial amount of information about active and retired MRSECs and their research and education activities. There are MRSECs all across the United States and the education directors meet annually to coordinate national partnerships and enhance their programs.
Many MRSECs have formed productive partnerships with museums and Science centers and in particular, for the past ten years, many have worked with the Nano Informal Science Education (NISE) network. NISE has been an active partner of the Materials Research Society (MRS) as well. (http://www.nisenet.org/ ) has much information about this network and has an extensive online archive of free materials that are very useful for nano-materials education, outreach and communication and professional development.
We will share many examples of lessons learned, promising practices, and examples of materials PCCM has used to enhance its programs. These include Materials Science Day, Nanoday, the Princeton University Materials Academy, multiple teacher development programs, Nano Miniexhibit and past mini grant opportunities. Some nano day kits in particular are very useful for professors and other research scientists including all PCCM members. Many use the kits as icebreakers and enhance the kits with related demos of their own. Other kits, we have found, are useful for our high school and undergraduate volunteers who use them to engage the public in hands on activities, games and discussions. We will recap these many other useful resources that are available in the NISEnet archive.
9:00 AM - A3.16
Analysis of Research Grade Simulations to Enhance the Learning of Mechanical Behavior of Materials via Combined Experiments and nanoHUB Simulations
Aisling Coughlan 1 David R Johnson 1 Tanya Faltens 1 Heidi A Diefes-Dux 1 K Anna Douglas 1 Alejandro Strachan 1
1Purdue Univ West Lafayette United StatesShow Abstract
The long-term goal of the authors is to accelerate the adoption of research grade simulations (RGSs) in undergraduate curricula for the purpose of facilitating students&’ acquisition of deep knowledge of atomic-level phenomena. However the development of educational simulations can take substantial resources to develop the underlying models, the simulations and educational supports along with the time required to develop and fund the platform. Acquiring the resources necessary to develop and maintain educational simulations poses a significant barrier for most instructors. Currently there are a growing number of RGS but such simulations, however, emerge from a completely different development process that focuses on complex research models with little consideration for learner needs or learning tasks. Thus the question is how can RGSs be effectively used as pedagogical tools? This paper describes the joint efforts of the Schools of Materials Engineering and Education Engineering at Purdue University over the past year on improving the teaching of a sophomore-level MSE laboratory course through use of RGS tools hosted on nanoHUB.org, a web-portal that enables online simulations using a standard web-browser without the need to download or install any software nor provide the compute cycles for the simulations. The overall goal of this endeavor is to assist students&’ in their learning capability of fundamental material science concepts. This preliminary design-based study investigates students&’ learning of concepts related to metal deformation through the use of an RGS, while plans for future RGS integration for learning difficult concepts and experimentation that cut across the entire MSE undergraduate curriculum are conceived. The analysis of three semesters worth of data (students&’ in class assessments, laboratory reports and end of semester exams) will be analyzed and its use to further improve and refine the design of interface between the simulation and student will be discussed.
9:00 AM -
A3.11 Transferred to II5.05
A1: The Education Paradigm Shiftmdash;Novel Approaches to Engaged Learning
Monday AM, November 30, 2015
Sheraton, 3rd Floor, Fairfax A
9:30 AM - *A1.01
The Educational Revolution and the Goo-You-Wiki World or Letrsquo;s Shift the Educational Paradigm Together
Harry Kroto 1
1Vega East Sussex United KingdomShow Abstract
The aim of education is to uncap the creative potential of every child and we now have a new device which promises to help us do better than before. The Internet has initiated the second great revolution in education; the first was initiated by the printing press. The GooYouWiki World not only makes information almost instantaneously locatable and accessible today, but it also enables anyone with expertise and the passion to communicate to contribute to the amazing globally-accessible cache of knowledge. On-line education is of course invaluable for students who are unable to attend a university physically but it is not clear that the simple repackaging of courses utilises the new technology to its full potential. For instance the traditional teacher-student dynamics is basically no different on-line from what it was before and certainly the close personal teacher-student interaction, often so crucial in successful education relationships, is lost. We should thus also explore the new imaginative educational approaches which this technology offers for instance to conflate synergistically with, rather than replace, traditional ones. Our first initiative www.vega.org.uk is now a fantastic archive of recordings by outstanding scientists and its spin-off is the Global Educational Outreach for Science, Engineering and Technology (GEOSET) initiative (www.geoset.info) which is aimed at capturing the ingenuity of teachers to explain specific topics which can be used by other teachers elsewhere on the planet. It also enables students to contribute creatively to the great humanitarian endeavour of building the “Global Cache of Knowledge” and at the same time improve greatly their career prospects. GEOSET turns the dynamics of the teaching process round by 180 degrees and focuses on the educator capturing what the teacher wants to teach. Our new related initiative is assembling Teacher&’s Tricks of The Trade, focused nuggets of teaching genius to be streamed from the new www.TToTTs.com website for other teachers to employ in their own lessons and lectures.
10:15 AM - *A1.02
Flat Space, Deep Learning
Eric Mazur 1
1Harvard University Cambridge United StatesShow Abstract
The teaching of physics to engineering students has remained stagnant for close to a century. In this novel team-based, project-based approach, we break the mold by giving students ownership of their learning. This new course has no standard lectures or exams, yet students&’ conceptual gains are significantly greater than those obtained in traditional courses. The course blends six best practices to deliver a learning experience that helps students develop important skills, including communication, estimation, problem solving, and team skills, in addition to a solid conceptual understanding of physics. This showcase will discuss the course philosophy and pedagogical approach and participants will take part in a new form of collaborative assessment.
11:30 AM - *A1.03
Student-Led Instruction in Materials Science Education
Michelle Moram 1
1Imperial College London London United KingdomShow Abstract
Traditional university-level Materials Science instruction centres around instructor-led lectures which follow a pre-defined curriculum, typically supported by written handouts and problem sheets to be completed by the students outside the lecture context. However, this approach is associated with low levels of student engagement and does not make the most effective use of the instructors' expertise. In this presentation I will explore an alternative approach to Materials Science education (currently under development at Imperial College London), in which the instructor arrives prepared for discussion on a particular topic, but the content of the lecture is dictated by exploratory questions posed to the instructor by the student audience (no questions, no lecture!). Preliminary evidence indicates significantly enhanced student engagement, leading to a greater depth of understanding and better retention of the material covered. Student feedback and assessments of relevant learning outcomes will be presented, which allows comparisons to be made between this approach and the more traditional one used in other areas of the course. Issues relating to curriculum content and examinations will also be discussed.
12:00 PM - A1.04
The Impact of Contextualized Computing for Undergraduate Materials Students
Michael L. Falk 1 Alejandra Magana 2 Camillo Vieira 2 Michael Reese 1 Junchao Yan 2
1Johns Hopkins University Baltimore United States2Purdue University West Lafayette United StatesShow Abstract
The ubiquity of computing is arguably the most transformative cross-disciplinary change to science and engineering in the last half century. Yet, our educational strategies for incorporating computing into the heart of our discipline has not evolved much since the inception of computer science as an established area of study. In 2012 the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University made computing a required first-year gateway course for all majors. The bigger change is that computing is now contextualized within the discipline through materials-focused projects, and the subject is taught via a flipped classroom instructional format that engages students in hands-on work during class. The result has been (a) much higher self-reported student confidence in their computing abilities, increased perception of the utility of computing and higher intention to adopt computing as part of their educational and career plans; and (b) measurable learning gains in later core courses in which disciplinary concepts are reinforced through computational modules. The latter was true particularly amongst students who had taken the disciplinarily contextualized computing class. These perception and learning gains are significant even when materials students exposed to contextualized computing are compared to students who have taken three or more traditional computing classes.
12:15 PM - A1.05
Nanotechnology Solutions to Engineering Grand Challenges
Edward Wayne Davis 1 Joni Lakin 1 Polapragada Raju 1 Virginia A Davis 1
1Auburn University Auburn United StatesShow Abstract
This talk will describe the results to date of an effort to develop education modules focusing on nanotechnology and the NAE Grand Challenges. Nanotechnology education is critical to engineering students&’ future employability and the development of a skilled nanotechnology workforce is one of the goals of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. Over the last decade, there have been a plethora of initiatives focused on formal, and informal, K-12 nanotechnology education. A growing amount of high quality content is available through multiple online resources including NISEnet.org. However, there is often a large gap in nanotechnology education opportunities between high school and senior/graduate level electives. Engineering freshman, a growing number of whom have developed a high degree of interest in the potential of nanotechnology, must wait until graduate school or, if they are lucky, senior level elective classes to obtain any further nanotechnology education. A few schools offer undergraduate nanotechnology degrees or specializations, but at many schools much of the emphasis on nanotechnology has been in the form of academic research and electives for seniors and graduate students. One way to overcome this gap is to recognize that nanotechnology should be as pervasive in our engineering curriculum as it is will be in our students&’ future professions. The logical starting place for this effort is in freshman engineering courses. Several studies have found millennial students are particularly motivated when course content is put in a real world context and related to engineers&’ societal impact. In the project that is the focus of this talk, modules are being developed for freshman engineering courses that focus on the ways nanotechnology may be used to address the NAE Engineering Grand Challenges. Each module includes: 1) an introduction to the Grand Challenges in general, 2) a discussion of the ‘current state of the art&’ for a specific Grand Challenge and needs for addressing the challenge, 3) a knowledge-centered introduction to potential nanotechnology enabled solutions, and 4) hand on activities for use with the three previous sections. The initial modules focusing on the Grand Challenges “Make Solar Energy Economical” and “Reverse Engineer the Brain” have been developed and used in summer camps for entering freshman and as part of the Chemical Engineering Freshman Engineering course. Initial assessment of effects of the module on nanotechnology knowledge gains, broader engineering and Grand Challenges knowledge gains, and increased commitment to and engagement in engineering will be discussed.
12:30 PM - *A1.06
Education and Training at NSF Funded National Facilities
G.X. Tessema 1 S.L. Jones 1 Linda S. Sapochak 1
1National Science Foundation Arlington United StatesShow Abstract
Education and training of the future generation of material scientists is one of the core mission of the Division of Materials Research (DMR) at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Such activities are embedded in all of the programs of the Division, including the national facilities. These unique, large scale flagship facilities play a critical role in training and inspiring the next generation of materials scientists. Education training at these facilities covers a broad range of innovative activities from outreach to K12, through REU and REU site activities, and summer/winter hands on courses on special topics for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. This talk will give a decadal retro-overview of activities and highlights, major successes and challenges in this important and critical area.
Ian Ferguson, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Zakya Kafafi, Lehigh University
Sergio Mejia, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon
Joanna Millunchick, University of Michigan
Symposium Support NISE Network
A5: Materials Educationmdash;Engaging Students in the Laboratory
Tuesday PM, December 01, 2015
Sheraton, 3rd Floor, Fairfax A
2:30 AM - *A5.01
Engaging Non-Science Majors: Physics of Food and Cooking
Rama Bansil 1
1Boston Univ Boston United StatesShow Abstract
We have developed a new course that offers a unique approach to teaching basic physical science concepts to non-science majors illustrated via cooking. The science topics include physics of molecular interactions, thermal physics, phase transitions, and soft matter physics focusing on self-assembly, gelation, viscosity, elasticity. Labs and demos are based on modern gastronomic techniques such as sous-vide&’ cooking in constant temperature baths, pressure cooking, molecular gastronomy techniques for making culinary foams, gels and emulsions. In addition to the labs, students work in teams of three on a final project to illustrate the science behind a recipe or cooking technique of their choice. The course is designed along similar lines as the “Science of Cooking” course offered at Harvard University. With a modest investment we set up a new laboratory equipped with table-top cooking and scientific equipment. To liven the course we have a few guest lectures by well-known local chefs, food writers and young gourmet food entrepreneurs. The lectures and assignments are designed to teach freshman to seniors with a basic high school physical science and algebra background. The response from students has been enthusiastic.
3:00 AM - A5.02
Polycraft World: A Minecraft Modification that Motivates Materials Mastery
Shelbi Parker 1 Christina M Thompson 4 5 Jim Amato 6 Benjamin Lund 4 Christian Cortes 2 Ronald A Smaldone 4 5 Walter Voit 2 3 1
1The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson United States2The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson United States3The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson United States4The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson United States5The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson United States6Syzygy Memory Plastics Richardson United StatesShow Abstract
We are trying to engage a generation of potential students that has spent more collective hours playing Minecraft than it took to build the Great Pyramids of Egypt. We have built a Minecraft modification called Polycraft World, which integrates a layer of materials science and engineering on top of the world&’s most popular video game, a sandbox game with approximately 50 million copies sold worldwide. Minecraft has been downloaded more than 2 billion times in the past 5 years and sports 20 million active monthly users today. We have embedded recent advances from polymer chemistry and materials sciences into a version of the game, including adding tough plastics, engineered rubbers, petrochemical refining and metal organic frameworks into a platform that engages Minecraft players—not by being blatantly educational but by being fun. We have also built a Wikipedia-style help guide that contains more than 1,000 pages and links to myriad YouTube videos, Tweets and forum comments—ways modern students are exposed to complex information.
The Minecraft environment allows players to chop wood, mine ores, and build to shape their world; though the developers have limited the “vanilla” version, they have invited the community to modify the basic platform. Polycraft World incorporates the ideas of organic and polymer chemistry to Minecraft, enabling players to gather minerals and materials, such as crude oil, and to mature from harvesting raw resources to synthesizing specialty polymers and fabricating complex machines using realistic processing methods. Players can quickly grasp underlying chemistries and techniques that go into creating plastics, such as distillation, injection molding, machining, and hydraulic fracking. Polycrafters can build flamethrowers, jet packs and scuba gear, if they first teach themselves the fundamentals of metal milling, steam cracking, chemical processing and organic chemistry. These virtual interactions offer asynchronous rewards, incentives for setting self-motivated goals, infinite room to expand and explore and the ability to design and terraform the surrounding world. Thus Minecraft and Polycraft World are simultaneously enjoyable and effective tools to convey basic information about advanced topics.
As scientific discoveries are made and the world continues to change, the ways to reach students evolve and educational methods and outreach initiatives must transform to remain relevant. Polycraft World offers a new experience for students to be introduced into advanced sciences at an earlier age. To promote the mod locally, we work closely with independent school districts, such as Garland ISD near Dallas, TX, with the intention of personally engaging students with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) topics across grade levels.
3:15 AM - A5.03
Web-Based Customizable Virtual X-Ray Laboratory for Teaching Materials Science and Engineering
Yakov E. Cherner 1 Maija Kuklja 6 Olga A. Bunina 4 Michael Cima 5 Robert Tufts 3 Alexandre S. Sigov 2
1ATeL - Advanced Tools for e-Learning Swampscott United States2Moscow State Technical University of Radio-Engineering, Electronics, and Automation Moscow Russian Federation3University of South Florida Tampa United States4Southern Federal University Rostov-on-Don Russian Federation5Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge United States6University of Maryland College Park United StatesShow Abstract
Today, many students, enrolled in on-line or large-class science and engineering courses, lack opportunities for hands-on practice and experimentation. Contemporary advanced research equipment has not only a limited availability for educational purposes, but when accessible, it is typically fully computerized with most tasks executed automatically without user participation. Consequently, very often students experience difficulties in assessing applicability of measurement techniques, limitations of methods, and factors affecting data accuracy. Hence, students cannot correctly estimate reliability of the results.
The paper presents multifunctional virtual X-ray laboratories (v-Lab) that help overcome some of the problems, address the demands of distance and blended education, and meet learning habits of today&’s students. The v-Labs enable students to perform authentic experiments online. using fully functional virtual clones of actual X-ray equipment. The equipment realistically imitates the design and operation of X-Ray diffractometers and spectrometers and also includes educational analytical software. Experimental data can be collected and handled manually or automatically. This allows students to practice concepts, tasks, and equipment operations in a manner that can&’t be achieved on actual entirely automated equipment. Virtual data can be exported to popular software as well.
The v-Labs include an open collection of samples available for experiments. Instructors can add their own samples using measured or calculated data. An easy-to-use authoring tool enables instructors to customize existing virtual experiments or create new one. The v-Labs can be integrated with MOOC e-learning platforms.
Interactive online experiments using virtual equipment are intended for undergraduate and graduate students to learn fundamental principles underlying the analytical x-ray methods and become familiar with the design and operation of the X-ray equipment. A variety of visual, audio and traditional learning and assessment resources are integrated with virtual experiments to provide students with “just-in-time” learning opportunities.
Examples of applications of v-Labs include x-ray diffraction study of phase transitions in ferroelectric ceramics and nanoscale thin films, qualitative phase analysis of various compounds, nanostructured materials and human kidney stones, etc.
The v-Labs were used (i) as a single tool for lab experimentation and in combination with actual equipment; (ii) for preparing students for hands-on practice in actual X-ray labs; (iii) for performance-based assessment of students&’ understanding and their ability to apply gained knowledge for solving practical tasks; (iv) for lecture demonstrations, (v) for training personnel of x-ray laboratories and evaluating their knowledge and skills.
Implementation of teaching materials science with v-Labs and at several U.S. and Russian universities are presented and discussed.
3:30 AM - A5.04
Using Materials Science Concepts to Increase Teacher and Student Engagement in Inquiry-Based Science
Teresa Shiverdecker 1 Michelle McCombs 1
1Ohio State University Columbus United StatesShow Abstract
This paper shares the results of an intensive three-year professional development (PD) program for high school physical science teachers. The purpose of the program was to increase teachers&’ content knowledge by integrating materials science topics into their physical science curriculum. This approach provided teachers with authentic examples of real-world applications of the science content they convey to their students. Connecting the physical science content to practical materials science applications encouraged teachers to move from lecture-based instruction to inquiry-based instruction.
The PD program, supported by the Ohio Mathematics and Science Partnership program, provided 120 hours of PD each year for three years. Each year began with teachers attending an ASM Teachers Materials Camp (40 hrs), followed with four, 6-hour face-to-face sessions during the academic year (24 hrs), on site coaching (8 hrs), an online course focusing on science content knowledge (36 hrs), and curriculum work (12 hrs). Thirty-three teachers participated over the course of the three-year program. Thirteen teachers participated for all three years, four teachers completed two years and sixteen teachers completed one year. Data were collected from several sources: pre/post content knowledge tests, classroom observations and a Materials Science Activity Checklist.
The data indicates that teachers involved in the program significantly increased both their materials science content knowledge as well as the number of materials science activities they conducted with their students. The year three teachers have shown consistent growth in the average number of activities used in their classroom throughout the program (at the end of their first year the average was 11, 15 at the end of year 2 and 21 following year 3).
Teachers&’ content knowledge was assessed three times each year, pre summer camp, post camp and post academic year. In our year three data, the teachers exhibited a statistically significant difference in scores for the pre-camp assessment (M=12.67, SD=4.18) to post camp assessment (M=14.62, SD=4.25); t(21)=-4.97, p=0.00. This encompassed one 40-hr week of instruction. They also maintained gains throughout the academic year with a statistically significant increase in content knowledge scores between the pre-camp assessment (M=13.45, SD=3.52); and post academic year assessment (M=14.50; SD=4.19); t(20)=-2.33, p=0.03. Based on classroom observations, their comfort with inquiry-based science improved considerably. Teachers moved from a lecture approach to a more engaging and intellectually rigorous inquiry-based approach. This shift in instructional methods led to increased student engagement and interest.
The PD program yielded the anticipated results of increased science content knowledge and changes in classroom practices and could easily serve as a national model for helping teachers find ways to integrate materials science topics into their curriculum.
3:45 AM - A5.05
Bridging the Gap and Inspiring Innovation in Material Science Education at the Secondary Level through a New Polymer Semiconductor Kit
Jessica Enlow 1 Michael George Walter 1
1University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte United StatesShow Abstract
Advancements in 21st century materials science are forthcoming at the university level, leading to research faculty and university professors being well-versed in cutting-edge and innovative applications. However, many incoming university students are unaware of these advancements and have little skill in investigating sought after solutions to real-world problems. To alleviate the gap in experience with material science practices and polymer education, an educational semiconductor polymer lab kit has been developed that works to immerse students in hands-on inquiry activities surrounding current research in polymer semiconductors. The kit and curriculum have been developed to introduce students and instructors the synthesis, underlying physics, and applications of conjugated polymeric materials. The education kit is aimed at students in secondary or high school level and complements existing laboratory activities found in chemistry and physics classrooms. The hands-on laboratory exercises will engage students with inquiry-based experiments in conductive polymer synthesis and semiconductive polymers for optoelectronic applications such as solar cells and light-emitting diodes. Our goal is to bring awareness to these advancements through three laboratory modules related to electrochromic polymers, OLEDs, and polymer solar cells while supporting instructional implementation of these activities with easy to use digital resources and apps. Teachers have access to online-tools that can ease the utilization of modern content and teaching strategies in lieu of traditional lecture and teacher directed instruction. These online-tools provide instructional information, use digital interfaces to simulate the molecular interactions of matter and light, and allow for student directed learning through integration of online data collection tools and graphical analysis. Students will be able to self-check for understanding of lab practices and content through a free downloadable app for each of these three modules mentioned above. These educational apps serve to enhance the student learning experience and facilitate analytical skill development. The overarching goal of the project is to expose students to the latest molecular materials technologies whose fundamental conjugated polymer research has rapidly advanced in the past 10-20 years. The education kit will also engage students and encourage them to consider future careers in science and engineering.
4:30 AM - *A5.06
Using Experimentation, Simulation and Visualization to Engage Students
Kathleen Stair 1 Derk Joester 1 Kenneth Shull 1 Oriane Senninger 1
1Northwestern Univ Evanston United StatesShow Abstract
Experiential learning via hands-on laboratory exercises in which students make materials and measure structure and properties is an essential part of the materials science curriculum. Labs and projects which develop these skills are well-distributed throughout our curriculum and effectively engage students. But many processes and structures discussed in the curriculum are difficult for students to visualize. We have implemented new exercises which facilitate visualization through both experiment and simulation. The simulation exercises also help students develop computational skills. Some specific examples will include simulation projects in which students developed Matlab code to analyze diffusion and microstructural features in two-dimensional arrays.
5:00 AM - A5.07
Learning the Fundamentals of Computational Materials Science by Doing: The Maker Movement in the Classroom and Beyond
Kyle Michael Keane 1 Rachel Zucker 2 Raku Watari 3 Michael Gibson 1 Daniel Lewis 4 Janet Rankin 5 W. Craig Carter 1
1MIT Cambridge United States2University of California, Berkeley Berkeley United States3MIT Cambridge United States4Rensselaer Polytechnic University Troy United States5MIT Cambridge United StatesShow Abstract
Several trends in education are scaffolding, project-based learning, and fluency in computer programming (coding). We have been developing a novel system and curricula for undergraduate and graduate level materials science and engineering education. Our system incorporates these trends into a distributed (distance) learning environment that can be delivered in real time with live instruction, asynchronously, or independently self-paced. Our curriculum promotes self-efficacy by developing the open-ended problem solving skills associated with computational thinking and maker-type "tinkering". Students learn to explore coding as a tool for scientific enquiry and effective communication.
In this talk, we present an overview of the teaching modules in our system, discuss their educational foundations, and present the results of their initial usage in various undergraduate courses, The central concept is that a student, after being presented with a real-world problem and any requisite concepts from materials science, is guided through a sequence of open-ended challenges that leads them to a solution of the problem at hand. To complete a module, students must code computer algorithms, employ mathematical reasoning, build problem-solving strategies, test hypotheses, and design effective visualizations. By completing modules, students obtain the necessary trade skills of a modern scientist as they simultaneously acquire domain-specific knowledge of materials science. Additionally, students learn to communicate their understanding with others through the effective design and creation of interactive visualizations. Our aim is to inspire students to become scientists, engineers, storytellers, tinkerers, and designers.
After completing each module, every student will have their own personalized electronic document full of rich interactive visualizations and effective coding techniques. This malleable document combines the information of a traditional textbook with a personal repository of code that can be continually expanded well after graduation. The goal is to inspire students to make their own education and not just consume it. This talk focuses on the educational foundations of our system, we give a practical demonstration of the system in a companion talk.
5:15 AM - A5.08
Practical Demonstrations of a "Coding-To-Learn" and "Making-Your-Own-Content" Materials Science and Engineering Curriculum
Rachel Zucker 1 Raku Watari 2 Michael Gibson 3 Daniel Lewis 4 Janet Rankin 5 W. Craig Carter 3 Kyle Michael Keane 3
1University of California, Berkeley Berkeley United States2MIT Cambridge United States3MIT Cambridge United States4Rensselear Polytechnic University Troy United States5MIT Cambridge United StatesShow Abstract
Several trends in education are scaffolding, project-based learning, and fluency in computer programming (coding). We have been developing a novel system and curricula for undergraduate and graduate level materials science and engineering education. Our system incorporates these trends into a distributed (distance) learning environment that can be used in real time with live instruction, asynchronously, or independently self-paced. Our curriculum promotes self-efficacy by developing the open-ended problem solving skills associated with computational thinking and maker-type "tinkering". Students learn to explore coding as a tool for scientific enquiry and effective communication.
In this talk, we will present examples of this “coding-to-learn” and “making-your-own-content” system. In the teaching modules of our system, students are given a practical problem to solve, or concept to develop, which requires them to learn and apply new skills and knowledge. Each module cycles iteratively through (roughly) five stages: 1) short, guided reading and video clips about a concept in materials science; 2) simple examples of coding that demonstrate the concept described in the first stage; 3) open-ended challenges that require a student to construct her/his own solution based on the coding examples in the previous stage; 4) curated expert solutions to ensure a student is on track, understands at least one approach to solving the challenge in the previous stage, and has attained the necessary tools to continue; 5) design challenges that require students to construct visualizations to communicate the newly learned concepts and apply the newly learned coding skills.
After completing each module, every student will have their own personalized electronic document full of rich interactive visualizations and effective coding techniques. This malleable document combines the information of a traditional textbook with a personal repository of code that can be continually expanded well after graduation. The goal is to inspire students to make their own education and not just consume it. This presentation is a practical demonstration of our system, we discuss the educational foundations of this system in a companion talk.
5:30 AM - A5.09
New NGSS Ready Materials Science Curriculum from Princeton University Materials Academy
Daniel J Steinberg 1 Linda Cody 2 Sergio Aclo 1
1Princeton Univ Princeton United States2Princeton High School Princeton United StatesShow Abstract
Educators will gain effective strategies for demonstrating interdisciplinary material science beyond the classroom walls. Through initiatives to give the public access to the curriculum modules of a long-running, successful education outreach program for traditionally underrepresented students, educators will improve their ability to satisfy the requirements of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
The Princeton University Materials Academy (PUMA) is an education outreach program for underrepresented high school students, in fact 83% of students receive free or reduced-lunch. PUMA is part of the Princeton Center for Complex Materials (PCCM), a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Materials Research Engineering and Science Center (MRSEC). Since 2002, PUMA has been serving the community of Trenton, New Jersey, which is only eight miles from the Princeton University campus. It has Impacted 237 students from 2003-2014, with many students repeating for multiple years. While 100% of PUMA students have graduated high school, 98% have gone on to college. This is compared to overall Trenton district graduation rate of 48%.
In summer 2015, Hydrogen fuel cells were studied following NGSS cross-cutting principles. In this program, the PUMA high school students develop alternatives to carbon-based fuels. Students generate hydrogen by employing chemical procedures, and explore the ratios of hydrogen to oxygen by "loudness of explosion.” They explore conservation of energy by relating energy input of solar, water and wind power vs output of hydrogen generation. They also have meaningful interactions with faculty, students, and staff, and explored multiple strategies for sustainability. These include new materials for concrete, new materials for solar energy and battery storage, as well as materials for high-efficiency electronics. This enabled them to frame a perspective on the value of materials science and understand the importance of materials in achieving sustainability.
After 15 years of successful summer PUMA programs covering multiple materials science and sustainability projects, we discuss initiatives to share the curriculum online to enhance the reach of PCCM&’s PUMA program, and to enable educators to replicate or build upon successful strategies that will help meet NGSS and give their students opportunities to learn interdisciplinary science.
5:45 AM - A5.10
Bringing Material Properties Measurement Down to Scale for Students
Deb Newberry 1
1Dakota County Technical College Rosemount United StatesShow Abstract
Traditionally, and for many industries, measurement of material properties is done at the macro scale. And, similarly students are taught using those measurement tools that measure properties at that scale. However, as momentum increases for exploring, understanding and measuring at the nanoscale, tools created for these functions are required and have been built. This momentum has also resulted in a surge of nanoscale content, through camps, demos, classes and programs at levels from middle school through undergraduate level. In several cases, tools for understanding the world at the nanoscale have been adapted for these grade levels. Yet any tool that is adapted must be able to inform and teach students - independent of age - basic concepts, nuances and develop competencies relevant to the subject.
Nanoscale content has been created and an appropriate nanoscale measurement tool developed that can be used to foster understanding, competencies and student outcomes that not only can meet career path requirements but also explain materials science phenomena at the nanoscale. This presentation will discuss the history, process, approach and results of the effort to provide a nano mechanical measurement tool and an educational package to develop nanoscale understanding, competencies and student outcomes correlated to industry needs.
A4: Materials Educational Reform through Institutional Transformation
Tuesday AM, December 01, 2015
Sheraton, 3rd Floor, Fairfax A
9:30 AM - *A4.01
Engaged Education at Scale: Using Data for Personalization
Timothy McKay 1
1University of Michigan Ann Arbor United StatesShow Abstract
Personalization is essential for engaged learning. When students sense that what they&’re being given is right for them, responsive to both their needs and desires, aware of the background of goals, they engage and put their full effort into what they&’re doing. When what they receive is generic, unconcerned with who they are, unable (or unwilling) to respond to their personal situation, they disengage, doing just the minimum to get by. Our primary tool for personalization is individual human contact. Unfortunately, our classes are often too large to count on regular, individual contact between knowledgeable, fully informed mentors and the students they support. To make all of our interactions with students more personal, we need to provide instructors, advisors, and students themselves with the best possible information. Then we need to give them tools to act on this data. This talk will describe several tools for personalization at scale developed in the Office of Digital Education and Innovation at the University of Michigan. Examples of their application and impact provide glimpses of a future of engaged education at scale.
10:00 AM - A4.02
Engineering Studentsrsquo; Motivations and Awareness toward Nanotechnology: The Case of Kafkas University
Haci Hasan Yolcu 1 Turgay Han 1
1Kafkas University Kars TurkeyShow Abstract
Nanotechnology is an interdisciplinary field that arrangement of molecules and atoms at sizes between 1 and 100 nanometers for the make new materials, nano-machines, and nano-devices. Nanotechnology is a creative and greatly dynamic field of innovative research that displays numerous open fields for future graduates. The purpose of this study is to examine undergraduate level engineering student&’s awareness, expose and their motivation to learn nanotechnology. One hundred engineering students from a state university in Turkey have participated in the study. Nanotechnology Awareness Instrument (NWI) was used to determine the students&’ awareness toward nanotechnology. NWI consisted of 30 items and categorized into three subcategories: expose, awareness and motivation to learn nanotechnology. Data was collected through nanotechnology motivation scale and face-to-face interviews with a sub-sample of students. The result revealed that student&’s expose and awareness to nanotechnology is lower than motivation for nanotechnology. No significant difference in gender was observed. It may be stemmed from lack of mention nano-science and nanotechnology with their science lectures. As a result we recommend lecturers give more place nanotechnology in their science classes&’ curriculum.
Key words:Nanotechnology, Awareness, Motivation, Engineering students,
10:15 AM - A4.03
Collaboratively Creating Research-Inspired MSE Educational Resources for Informal and Formal Education
Ben Taylor 1 Anne Lynn Gillian-Daniel 1 Nicholas L. Abbott 1
1Univ of Wisconsin-Madison Madison United StatesShow Abstract
By integrating research and education, the University of Wisconsin Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (UW MRSEC) creates research-inspired materials science and engineering (MSE) educational resources. These resources, ranging from formal classroom laboratory protocols to hands-on tabletop activities, are designed to inform and excite K-12 students and public audiences about the power and potential of MSE to change the world. The UW MRSEC develops synergistic partnerships between researchers and educators that enable ongoing, collaborative development of cutting-edge educational modules. These partnerships leverage UW MRSEC members&’ disciplinary research expertise to create new MSE educational resources. They also provide an opportunity for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty to translate their research for public consumption. All educational resources undergo an iterative process of field-testing, evaluation, and improvement. Completed resources are disseminated through a wide range of venues including the UW MRSEC education website (education.mrsec.wisc.edu), hands-on workshops for teachers and students, as well as publication in professional education journals. In addition to discussing this collaborative process, which can be translated to other settings, examples of research-inspired educational resources developed by the UW MRSEC will be shown as part of the presentation.
10:30 AM - *A4.04
Lab to Market to Classroom: Smart Functional Materials and Beyond
Eva M. Campo 1
1Bangor University Bangor United KingdomShow Abstract
Interventions on graduate curricula to integrate novel scientific concepts are common practice. The fast-evolving character of graduate curricula, however, does not translate down the education structure. Indeed, scientific curricula in undergraduate and specially, in K-12 education have through decades been the subject of discussion, often debating between placing emphasis on science content knowledge or on the applications derived from it. The notion of adding content and the absence of provisions to reduce, or even suppress, previous content has been pervasive, leading to impasse.
In this paper, we explore a novel educative scenario, where technology still in developmental phases is brought to a classroom environment, providing students with early exposure to still-to-be-elucidated scientific phenomena.
This new ecosystem has been identified recently as the Lab-to-Market-to-Classroom. It was first introduced as a work plan for the dissemination of refreshable, photoactuatable tactile displays to the visually impaired (enabled by smart nanocomposites), serving both Lab-to-Market and Lab-to- Classroom initiatives. This topic is timely as it resonates with the development of curricula and activities involving novel and newly discovered materials. In this discussion, structure and implications of the Lab-to-Market-to-Classroom will be developed further.
This work plan was designed in accordance with the logic model, which identifies an overlap amongst classroom, market, and laboratory. This overlap seemed to nucleate when a technology in developmental phase is deployed in a classroom with high affinity to such technology. In this scheme, students are stakeholders whom help decide both content and applications to be included in the developing curriculum, and provide technology feedback, effectively leading to increased consumer acceptance.
The identified Lab-to-Market-to-Classroom continuum could be the missing link in our efforts to nurture sustainable scientific, technological, and curricular development.
11:30 AM - *A4.05
Promoting Educational Reform through Institutional Transformation
Amy J. Moll 1
1Boise State Univ Boise United StatesShow Abstract
As a university, our primary mission is to educate our students. One of the essential elements of this education is what happens in the classroom. It is the instructor who controls that environment. In order to create engaged learning for students in materials science and engineering, all course work must be considered especially the foundational courses in science and math. At Boise State, with support from an NSF WIDER grant, we are in the midst of an institutional transformation to fundamentally change - across the entire STEM curriculum - what happens in the classroom. Through this project we are changing the experience of every STEM student in their foundational classes. And over time, we will change how every instructor at Boise State University teaches. These changes are centered on evidence-based instructional practices proven to be effective in increasing student learning in STEM courses and retaining students in a STEM major. In order to facilitate transformational change, a change model (Dormant&’s CACAO Model) is used to propagate the use of evidence-based instructional practices.
As part of the project, all science, engineering and math faculty participated in a facilitated data-gathering process to learn how they perceive the proposed change to student-centered, evidence-based teaching practices. Faculty were asked to identify factors in five categories (relative advantage, simplicity, compatibility, adaptability, and social impact) that serve as either driving or restraining forces for change. The data are being used to craft strategies to move adopters (our faculty) closer to the goals. The results allow us to tailor strategies to engage with departments and points to ways this effort can be adopted by other universities.
12:00 PM - A4.06
Integrating Improv into Future Faculty Professional Development
Ben Taylor 1 Anne Lynn Gillian-Daniel 1 Nicholas L. Abbott 1
1Univ of Wisconsin-Madison Madison United StatesShow Abstract
Institutions like Improvscience and the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University have found that improvisational theater techniques can help scientists to better connect with their audience, collaborate with their peers, and communicate their work more effectively. The University of Wisconsin-Madison Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (UW MRSEC) partnered with a local improv company to offer graduate students and postdoctoral associates within the MRSEC an introductory improv course focused on helping future faculty become engaged instructors of materials science and engineering content. The 15-week course, entitled “Improv to Improve Teaching and Science Communication,” is built around exercises from improvisational theatre, and uses skills from improv to help students build positive learning communities, understand the importance of story arc in science communication, and communicate more confidently with technical and non-technical audiences. This unique, nontraditional professional development opportunity is designed as a practicum, not a lecture, so that students can actively practice the techniques they are learning in a supportive environment. In addition, the skills students learn in the course can be used for teaching and communicating all areas of science and engineering.
12:15 PM - A4.07
Student Presentation Based Active Teaching Approach for the Highly Technical Elective Courses and Busy Instructors
Pawan Tyagi 1
1Univ of District of Columbia Washington United StatesShow Abstract
Effective teaching approaches require a lot of class time invested in student activities during the class time and lead to the less coverage of the syllabus. Incomplete course coverage and the amount of time required by an instructor for designing active teaching strategies are cited as the common prohibition in adoptive student active teaching. This talk discusses an active student learning an approach that covers not only more than course syllabus but also require much less preparation time for the instructors. This paper is based on the effective teaching experiments conducted on senior level MCH 488 Fuel Cell Science and Technology course over a period of four years in the mechanical engineering department. Under this approach, students are given reading the assignment to prepare ~ 10 min long power point presentation on well-defined conceptual topics, questions, or chapter modules. Reading the assignment on a topic are administered 1-2 weeks before covering them in the class to allow sufficient time for preparation. In every class, three students or three groups of 2-5 students give the presentation on the same subtopics or concepts. Students are expected to rehearse the presentation to complete it in the suggested time of 10 minutes. The instructor grades their presentation, according to the rubric involving five marks for covering suggested topic, ten marks for the quality of presentation, and five marks for questions and answers. Instructor posts the grades for each class right after class in the Blackboard's online grade to provide quick feedback. There are several advantages of this approach: (1) Students understand 80-100% during self-reading and while making a presentation for other to teach. (2) Repeating same concepts thrice and occasionally with instructor&’s insights enable deep learning. (3) Students get quick quantitative feedback after each class and qualitative feedback during the class from instructor and peers. (4) This approach allowed coverage of very complex topic even beyond the syllabus, generally mentioned in the appendix of the textbook (5) students also learned about effective oral and written communication skills. In the intermediate and after course survey student reflected a higher degree of satisfaction with their learning as compared to their teaching strategies they have experienced in the lecture-based classroom education system. Most importantly performance of different students was quite comparable in the homework and class assignments suggesting that all the most of the students were actively learning. This approach is highly suitable for small elective classes on special topics and does not require much hard work on instructor part.
12:30 PM - *A4.08
Few Stones Left Unturned: Active and Significant Learning in an Introductory Materials Science Class
Jerrold A. Floro 1
1University of Virginia Charlottesville United StatesShow Abstract
Introduction to the Science and Engineering of Materials is a multi-section technical elective in the University of Virginia&’s School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). Traditionally, about 60% of SEAS undergraduates enroll in a section of this course, indicative of its popularity, this despite its reputation for being very challenging. One section was completely redesigned, and first rolled out for Spring 2014 to an 80-student classroom. The centerpiece of the new design is the use of Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) as the primary active-learning approach to replace traditional lecture. POGIL asks students to construct their own knowledge through a series of carefully-constructed, instructor-managed, guided inquiries during class time. Students work in four-member teams to promote peer instruction and collaborative practice. But the changes to this course went well beyond replacing lecture with POGIL. In particular, assignments were refocused to target significant learning, going beyond the typical end-of-the-chapter problems. New components included a team-based, design-oriented project and the production of “Materials Challenge” videos in order to connect the material science paradigm to issues of interest to students. New assessments made much increased use of short-answer, “concept-connection” problems taking the place of multiple choice, and these provided useful insights into student thinking and misconceptions. The grading scheme was significantly modified to include a large component of participation credit and team-based grading, with interesting results and implications. I will try to give a clear-eyed discussion of the benefits, challenges, and trade-offs associated with this very different class, both with respect to the instructor, and to the students. Support from the UVa Teaching Resource Center&’s Nucleus grant and Course Design Institute is gratefully acknowledged.