David Bahr Washington State University
Margaret Glass Association of Science-Technology Centers
Ethan Allen University of Washington
Kevin Jones University of Florida
XX1: Outreach to the General Public
Monday PM, November 29, 2010
Room 305 (Hynes)
2:30 PM - **XX1.1
Engineering Elephants: Introducing Young Children to Engineering.
Emily Hunt 1 , Michelle Pantoya 2 Show Abstract
1 Engineering and Computer Science, West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas, United States, 2 Mechanical Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, United States
In this study, we focused on children from 2-8 years of age and asked the simple question: what do engineers do? The number one response was: “I don’t know”, the number two response was “they drive a train.” While children are very familiar with professionals such as doctors, teachers, nurses, firefighters and policemen, they are rarely introduced to engineers. With this motivation, we developed a novel children’s book on engineering: Engineering Elephants. This book is an outreach tool that introduces children to the dynamic world of engineering design through roller coasters, fireworks, and a plethora of other exciting adventures. The book teaches children about relevant topics such as nanotechnology, renewable energy, and prosthetics by engaging them through an interactive journey of an elephant and his questioning of the world around him. The text was strategically developed to introduce vocabulary relevant to science and math using a lyrical pattern. This presentation will highlight the development of this book as an instructional aide but also detail the response of various age groups to engineering activities presented as a companion to this book. In particular, an elementary school district in West Texas designed a 4-5th grade 3-week summer school curriculum around this book. The curriculum and the associated students’ performance will be summarized and assessed. Results from this study will have an impact on future generations by inspiring them to consider the exciting profession of engineering at an early age. According to studies, the Mellinennials generation (born early 1980-2000) places significant emphasis on meaningful careers. By introducing Engineering Elephants to the Mellinennials generation of parents and integrating the ideas presented in this book into their culture, there are no limits to the meaningful contributions that future engineers will make toward improving our way of life.
3:00 PM - XX1.2
Nano Isn’t Only for Big People: Nano Education for Elementary-School Audiences.
Troy Dassler 2 1 , Tracy Stefonek-Puccinelli 1 , Kimberly Duncan 3 1 , Angela Johnson 4 , Wendy Crone 5 1 , Douglas Weibel 6 1 , Greta Zenner Petersen 1 Show Abstract
2 , Aldo Leopold Elementary School, Madison, Wisconsin, United States, 1 MRSEC, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States, 3 , Plymouth State University, Plymouth, New Hampshire, United States, 4 , Madison Children's Museum, Madison, Wisconsin, United States, 5 Engineering Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States, 6 Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Students today face new challenges, ranging from an increasingly technology-oriented society to fierce competition in the global economic market for hi-tech, high-paying jobs. Offering students the opportunity to learn about topics at the forefront of innovation, like nanotechnology, will help to increase their chances at success in the future. All too often these education efforts focus on or beyond middle school and leave elementary-school students and teachers with no introduction to or interactions with nanoscale science and engineering (NSE). It has often been assumed that NSE is too complex and challenging a topic for elementary-school audiences. To challenge this notion and explore the frontier of elementary-level NSE education, the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) on Nanostructured Interfaces at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) has explored and developed efforts and activities specifically for these audiences. This presentation will share the UW MRSEC’s successful strategies, experiences, and educational products for engaging elementary-school teachers and students with NSE-related topics.
3:15 PM - XX1.3
Science Saturdays: A Simple Model for Effective Broader Impact.
Ainissa Ramirez 1 Show Abstract
1 Mechanical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Science Saturdays, a science outreach program at Yale (www.sciencesaturdays.org), is a science lecture series designed to engage children of all ages. Started in 2003, it consists of engaging science lectures targeted for audiences 7th grade and up and was designed to improve science literacy among children and lay (non-technical) audiences. By providing hands-on activities and dynamic science lectures given by excellent communicators, this program makes science fun and approachable. By choosing presenters from many demographics, this program also helps to shatter stereotypes of who does science. This scalable and transferable program provides infrastructure to connect scientists to the general public, which reduces barriers between these groups. This presentation will discuss the lessons learned for building this sustainable and inexpensive outreach program.
3:30 PM - XX1.4
School-based Clubs as a Mechanism to Increase Student Interest in Materials Science Engineering and Nanotechnology Among Underserved Groups.
Sandra Dika 1 , Jeannette Santos 2 , Jaquelina Alvarez 3 , O. Marcelo Suarez 2 Show Abstract
1 Social Sciences, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Mayaguez United States, 2 Engineering Science and Materials, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Mayaguez United States, 3 General Library, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Mayaguez United States
For the past 6 years, the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez (UPRM) has led materials science and engineering (MSE) clubs at local, low-income middle and high schools in Western Puerto Rico to increase awareness and interest in the areas of materials science, nanotechnology, and engineering in general. While there is some published research on school science clubs, the focus tends to be on description of the club activities without providing assessment of the impact of the clubs. In the present work, we describe the club activities and share the results of the end-of-year assessment regarding knowledge, interest, and educational aspirations in MSE, along with differences based on gender, parent education level, and school level. During the 2009-10 academic year, MSE clubs were operating in 6 middle and 7 high schools, with over 325 participants. The clubs meet 6 times during the academic year, and students participate in hands-on learning experiences led by undergraduate and graduate student mentors. Sample activities include self-assembly of nanoparticles, surface-to-volume ratios in nanoparticles, among others. UPRM hosts an annual meeting of all MSE clubs, and each school has an annual outreach activity. Club members also become involved in informal science education activities, such as NanoDays.In May 2010 46 club members (48% female students) participated in the end-of-year assessment survey. While 57% of participants came from homes where neither parent had a college degree, the majority (67%) indicated that at least one family member (parent, sibling, aunt, uncle or cousin) had completed a bachelor’s degree in math, science or engineering. Overall, participants expressed positive opinions about engineering as a career, and indicated that club activities contributed to their knowledge and interest in science, engineering, MSE, and nanotechnology. Male students indicated greater knowledge gains in engineering and MSE than female students, while girls indicated greater gains in interest in MSE than boys. While students expressed high interest in pursuing university studies in science and engineering, there were some differences based on gender, parent education level, and school level. Boys expressed higher interest in studying engineering than girls, who in turn indicated higher interest in studying science than boys. First generation and high school students expressed higher interest than continuing generation and middle school students in studying science and engineering degrees. The results of this assessment provide promising evidence that school-based MSE clubs can help attract underserved minority students into the MSE pipeline. Future assessment will involve pre- and post-tests to better determine how student attitudes and plans change based on participation.
3:45 PM - XX1: Public
4:15 PM - **XX1.5
A Formal Course for Science and Engineering Graduate Students on Informal Science Education.
Wendy Crone 1 2 , Sharon Dunwoody 3 , R. Rediske 4 , S. Ackerman 5 , G. Zenner Petersen 2 , R. Yaros 6 Show Abstract
1 Engineering Physics, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States, 2 Materials Research Science and Engineering Center on Nanostructured Interfaces, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States, 3 School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States, 4 Department of Curriculum & Instruction, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States, 5 Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States, 6 Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, United States
We have developed and taught a course, “Informal Science Education for Scientists: A Practicum,” for graduate students in STEM-related fields which provides a structured framework and experiential learning about informal science education. The semester-long course has been co-taught to by a scientist/engineer and a social scientist/humanist over several years through the Delta Program in Research, Teaching, & Learning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We present assessment and evaluation results from six different iterations of the course. All iterations produced significant gains in how informed students felt about evaluation as a tool to determine the effectiveness of science outreach activities. In more recent iterations of the course, significant gains were found in the graduate students’ perceptions that they were better qualified to explain a research topic to a lay audience, and in the students’ confidence in using and understanding evaluation techniques to determine the effectiveness of communication strategies. There were also increases in the students’ understanding of audiences and the iterative process required to design an informal education product. We also explore how manipulation of the course structure (i.e. making it project-based, increasing the emphasis on understanding audiences, emphasizing the iterative nature of design, and increasing evaluation research training) influenced the student outcomes.
4:45 PM - XX1.6
Content Map for Informal Education in Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology.
Kirsten Ellenbogen 3 2 , Marjorie Bequette 3 2 , Marilyn Johnson 4 2 , Troy Livingston 5 2 , Paul Martin 3 2 , Rae Ostman 1 2 , Darrell Porcello 6 2 , Greta Zenner Petersen 7 2 Show Abstract
3 , Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota, United States, 2 NISE Network, Museum of Science, Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 4 , Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, Oregon, United States, 5 , Museum of Life + Science, Durham, North Carolina, United States, 1 National Collaborative Projects, Sciencenter, Ithaca, New York, United States, 6 , Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, California, United States, 7 Materials Research Science and Engineering Center on Nanostructured Interfaces, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Members of the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net) will present a content map that articulates key content knowledge for public learning about nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. The content map is organized according to four main ideas that define public awareness and understanding. It also provides supporting knowledge and indicates pathways for learners to explore and connect concepts more deeply. Presenters will share examples of educational experiences that exemplify each of four ideas of the map, and describe future plans for using the map as a basis for a learning progression research study.
5:00 PM - XX1.7
The Making of Making Stuff : Insight on the Outreach Campaign.
Jennifer Larese 1 Show Abstract
1 , WGBH, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
The MRS and NOVA have teamed to produce an extraordinary transmedia initiative that will soon be coming to your television screens, laptops, and community events. A cornerstone of the initiative is a four-hour PBS primetime series called Making Stuff. The series will present dramatic stories about how materials are transforming our world. Beyond the television experience, online and hand-held technology encourages additional in-depth and interactive learning opportunities. And experiences in museums, community centers, and shopping malls around the country provide even more ways to engage in hands-on exploration of “stuff.” In this session, you’ll get a sneak peak at all of the project’s components, engage with the activities and demonstrations, and learn how you can work with partners in your community to shine a spotlight on materials science.
5:15 PM - XX1.8
``Making Stuff" in Central Virginia: University of Virginia Outreach as a Part of the NOVA ``Making Stuff" Series.
Christopher Petz 1 , Ryan Comes 1 , Aleks Ontman 1 , Susan Hull 1 , Jerrold Floro 1 Show Abstract
1 Materials Science and Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
The "Making Stuff" four-part documentary series produced by NOVA and WGBH offers a unique opportunity for university Materials Science departments to interact with their local communities. As one of fifteen institutions selected to perform outreach in the community, the University of Virginia (UVA) MRS student chapter has embraced the opportunity to reach out to the central Virginia community. While UVA regularly performs outreach in the Charlottesville community around campus, many districts further away receive little interaction from scientists and engineers at UVA. Through the Making Stuff grant, we are offering a teacher in-service event hosted at UVA and providing lesson plans for classes geared towards high school students. Students at participating schools may also further their studies by participating in a materials science research competition hosted at UVA. These projects will allow the students to suggest ideas to improve the university using the four themes of the Making Stuff series: Smaller, Stronger, Smarter and Cleaner. Other regional outreach associated with Making Stuff includes the production of a children’s book on novel materials for the PBS (WVPT) Charlottesville Kids’ Book Festival and an exhibit at the Virginia Discovery Museum in downtown Charlottesville. We will present the results and future plans of this ongoing outreach program.
David Bahr Washington State University
Margaret Glass Association of Science-Technology Centers
Ethan Allen University of Washington
Kevin Jones University of Florida
XX2: Materials in K-12
Tuesday AM, November 30, 2010
Room 305 (Hynes)
9:30 AM - **XX2.1
LIGO, Materials Research, and K-12 Teacher Preparation at Southern University and A&M College.
Stephen McGuire 1 Show Abstract
1 Physics, Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
We describe our partnership with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) in optical materials research and science education outreach. The technical objective of the research program is to obtain physical correlations between chemical composition and microscopic structure and optical absorption characteristics of materials under consideration for use as test mass substrates and optical coatings in gravitational-wave interferometers. The goal of this work has been to help minimize noise in the interferometers by choosing test mass materials with low optical absorption and in particular mirror coatings that have low mechanical loss. Current studies focus on the use of X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) to obtain information on chemical composition, valence and charge transfer, bond lengths and number and type of nearest neighbors. Throughout this work undergraduate students have been involved in the science of LIGO and its technology through on- and off-campus research internships. Using the experience gained as a springboard we have been able to build a regional program of science K-12 teacher preparation that emphasizes classical physics concepts of oscillations, waves, wave propagation, interference, resonance, lasers, light and Newtonian gravity within a program of pre- and in-service teacher professional development. This has been achieved through the integration of the science teacher pre-service and in-service education programs at Southern University (SUBR) with the LIGO Science Education Center (SEC) with its inquiry-based interactive exhibits having emphasis on science teacher training. Our ultimate objective is to create a science education continuum of engagement, working at multiple levels and multiple audiences to strengthen science literacy in the region. An aggressive museum docent training program is providing a means for undergraduates to learn how to effectively communicate science concepts within informal learning environments. Following a brief overview of the LIGO experiment and our local program of materials characterization, we give a detailed presentation of our program of K-12 science teacher preparation with results.Work supported by National Science Foundation Grants No.(s), PHY-011077, PHY-0701652, PHY-030554, and PHY-0917543.
10:00 AM - XX2.2
Project VISTA: Building University/K-12 Learning Communities by Developing Materials Science Experiments.
Martin Bakker 2 1 , Jim Gleason 3 , Aaron Kuntz 4 , Sharon Nichols 5 , Cheryl Sundberg 5 , Nitin Chopra 6 , Laura Busenlehner 2 , Sara Templin 4 , Victoria Evans 8 , Paige Spencer 8 , Amy Murphy 7 , Amy Grano 2 , Leslie Gentry 2 , Wenwu Shi 6 Show Abstract
2 Department of Chemistry, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States, 1 Center for Materials for Information Technology, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States, 3 Mathematics, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States, 4 Education Research, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States, 5 Curriculum and Instruction, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States, 6 Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States, 8 , Northridge High School, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States, 7 Alabama Science in Motion, The University of Montevallo, Montevallo, Alabama, United States
One consequence of “high stakes testing” in our area schools has been exclusion of materials science faculty from optimal participation with students and teachers in middle and high school classrooms. Beyond the loss of resources from the classroom that Materials Science faculty and their students represent, this also has negative consequences for faculty who desire to develop ties to schools to address NSF’s “broader impact” criteria. A group of STEM and Education faculty at The University of Alabama has been testing a team based approach designed to overcome the systemic constraints that prevent effective STEM/K-12 collaboration. Teams consisting of a secondary school teacher, a STEM faculty member, and a STEM graduate student have spent three weeks during summer 2010 to identify, develop and implement an inquiry based science experiment. The experiments are being tested on science campers at McWane Science Center prior to being assessed in the teachers’ classrooms during the fall semester. The experiments were chosen by each team and represent significant advances over those currently available in the schools particularly dealing those with nanoscience. By setting a problem that no team member is able to solve alone we produced an environment where success requires meaningful collaboration, allowing an opportunity to develop a community of science educators. Preliminary qualitative evaluation indicates deeper understanding of the secondary school environment by the STEM faculty and greater respect for the skills secondary teachers bring to this endeavor. Successes in this pilot program have generated credibility with the local school district, opening the door to scaling up the project, and developing further positive ties. Incorporation of lead teachers from Alabama Science in Motion also allows the experiments developed to be widely disseminated throughout Alabama and nationwide within the mobile science laboratory community facilitated by Juniata College in Pennsylvania as well as providing a mechanism to identify existing experiments to enhance.
10:15 AM - XX2.3
Viscosity Studies of Alginate Gels in the High School Classroom.
Erica Bakota 1 , David Tetteh 2 , Jeffrey Hartgerink 1 , John Hutchinson 1 Show Abstract
1 Chemistry, Rice University, Houston, Texas, United States, 2 , Furr High School, Houston, Texas, United States
In the traditional high school science curriculum, materials science is sometimes overlooked. However, hydrogels have enormous utility in applications such as drug delivery, tissue engineering, and consumer products. Thus, exposure to hydrogels and characterization of their material properties would be extremely valuable at the high school level. As part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program, we have developed a laboratory activity to introduce high school students to hydrogels and the concept of viscosity. This lesson plan is well matched to Texas standards for 9th grade Integrated Physics and chemistry, which state that students should be able to analyze physical and chemical properties of substances including viscosity. Students participate in making hydrogels from sodium alginate powder and deionized water. These gels are then gently loaded into viscosity tubes and then a small object such as a ball is placed at the surface of the gel. Students record the time necessary for the object to fall from the top of the gel to the bottom of the tube. Increasing drop times can be correlated to viscosity of the hydrogel. This study will be accompanied by a discussion of viscosity values for common substances, such as honey and ketchup.In addition, we have constructed a video tour of the Hartgerink lab at Rice University, a lab that specializes in the synthesis of peptide hydrogels. During this video tour, we not only introduce students to common lab equipment used to make gels, but we also show the formation of several sodium and calcium alginate gels, as it would be done in a research laboratory setting. We will discuss how both the video and lesson plan have been used in the classroom at Furr High School in Texas.
10:30 AM - XX2.4
Development and Implementation of Nanotechnology Curricula for Specialized High Schools.
Deok-Yang Kim 1 , Aparna Subramaniam 1 , Todd Crane 1 , Dennis Montone 1 Show Abstract
1 , Bergen County Academies, Hackensack, New Jersey, United States
Specialized high schools (or magnet high schools) can offer students interesting opportunities of non-traditional science education such as nanotechnology. We report on the first year experience on the development and implementation of multi-faceted nanotechnology program at Bergen County Academies in the academic year of 2009 - 2010. We have created four main nanotechnology related offerings including two tiered nanotechnology elective courses, a chemistry/nanotechnology research program (individual or group), a nanostructural imaging project and a nanotechnology summer exploration program. These course are not mandatory as it is not part of our core curriculum. Despite of its inception stage, we have successfully reached out 20 percent of science/engineering/medical students. Details of contents, assessments, and activities in the each section will be discussed.
10:45 AM - XX2: K-12
11:15 AM - **XX2.5
High School Materials Science Courses as a STEM Motivator and Integrator.
Glenn Daehn 1 , Charles Hayes 2 , Lyle Schwartz 3 Show Abstract
1 Materials Science and Engineering, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States, 2 Materials Education Foundation, ASM International, Cleveland, Ohio, United States, 3 , Self, Chevy Chase, Maryland, United States
Over the past two decades a high school materials science curriculum has organically nucleated, evolved and taken root in a number of high schools. The ASM Materials Education Foundation with numerous partners, including Ohio State University and Battelle are now working to improve the content in, and accelerate the acceptance of, high school materials science courses. ASM Materials Camps for Teachers provide 40 hours of materials science instruction to high school teachers at no cost. In 2009, over 600 teachers completed camps in more than 20 locations nationwide. This provides an extraordinarily powerful platform from which to bring new ideas into high school teaching. In recent years, the focus has moved from building teacher awareness in materials science to seeding full semester and year-long materials science courses. These courses can be taught in several ways depending upon local needs and they have a track record in motivating students towards STEM careers. Further, the content provides a bridge between chemistry and useful and desirable products. This provides clear connections between the often separately-developed topics of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This broad project has a long history with many collaborators and contributors. Two open-access documents are at the core of the current program: a manual of low-cost, high-content experiments developed at PNNL in the 1990’s, and a compilation of readings and lab exercises that follow the course was developed by high school teachers who repeatedly act as instructors in the program; Andy Nydam and Debbie Goodwin led this effort. This presentation will describe the status and long-term potential of the program and suggest opportunities for others in high school and academic materials communities to become engaged.
11:45 AM - XX2.6
Direct to Discovery (D2D): An Innovative Approach to Extending University-based MSE Resources to K-12 Classrooms in the US and Abroad.
W. Jud Ready 1 , Greg Book 2 , Claudia Huff 3 , Chad Mote 4 , Peter Moulds 5 Show Abstract
1 GTRI-EOSL, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia, United States, 2 Nanotechnology Research Center, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia, United States, 3 GTRI-ITTL, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia, United States, 4 , Barrow County Schools, Winder, Georgia, United States, 5 , Scot's College, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
This work details an innovative application of high-speed networking technology and high-definition videoconferencing to offer educational enrichment to a high school chemistry course in Barrow County, Georgia as well as the equivalent grade level in Sydney, Australia. The course was collaboratively designed, developed, and delivered jointly by the high school teachers and Georgia Tech researchers. Preliminary impacts, both quantitative and qualitative, will be presented, along with an outline of the educational needs, the pedagogical foundation, the guiding principles for design and development, and lessons learned. If adequate technology is available at the meeting site, we will demonstrate the capability by videoconferencing back to the Georgia Tech labs or classrooms in Georgia or Australia.In the course, students learned about carbon nanotubes, what they are, why they matter, and how they’re grown. They learned about how different ‘recipes’ for growing carbon nanotubes produce differing results and will ultimately be able to remotely develop and run recipes. After the CNTs are grown, the samples are sent to the scanning electron microscope (SEM) at GT where the students are able to view the results from their classroom. The high fidelity of the SEM images and the video images allows students to see the same if not better quality image as the SEM operator sees on a monitor.This Chemistry course is part of a larger effort called Direct-to-Discovery, or D2D. D2D provides K-12 classrooms with engaging role models for science and technology careers and up-to-date professional development for K-12 STEM teachers. Engaging curricular enrichments that inspire STEM learning are provided, and the collaborative development model ensures that content will be aligned with relevant standards. The model has been used to establish international collaborations between K-12 classrooms in multiple nations, and plans for the future include applications in other STEM courses (such as an Astronomy that is currently under development) as well.
12:00 PM - XX2.7
Integrating Materials Concepts into Middle and High School Science Curricula.
Elizabeth Kupp 1 , Jenneth Layaou 1 Show Abstract
1 Materials Science and Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, United States
In an effort to expose potential scientists and engineers to materials and excite them about the possibilities this field offers, we have developed a relationship with the science faculty at a public 6-12th grade school called the Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy (Sci Tech). Through a seed grant from the Equal Opportunity Planning Committee at Penn State we are collaborating with Sci Tech’s faculty to develop modules which relate the current curriculum at Sci Tech with materials concepts through hands-on learning activities. These activities enhance the students’ problem solving skills while allowing them to discover that they have the potential to have a positive impact on the world as scientists and engineers.Sci Tech teachers learn about utilizing the new curriculum modules through visits to the MatSE department at Penn State. The program also includes interaction with Sci Tech students both in their classrooms and at Penn State in our laboratories as a means of introducing them to materials science and engineering. One important aspect of bringing the students to our laboratories is interaction with the enthusiastic undergraduate and graduate students in our program who have historically had a positive effect on student recruits. Further opportunities exist for students whose interest is piqued by the materials science modules, including open houses held during the fall and spring semesters and a week-long resident summer camp on materials for alternative energy.The primary goal of this program is to excite the students about STEM fields in general and Materials Science and Engineering in particular by actively engaging them in exploration of materials concepts that are both intriguing and relevant to their everyday lives. Our modules are extensions of units taught in the existing curriculum since we have found that it is easier to garner teacher support when we reinforce concepts they are already teaching. An example is a demonstration and activities related to the applications of solutions and mixtures in materials science following completion of such a unit in the classroom. Pre- and post-module surveys provide short term feedback on the effectiveness and quality of the curriculum. Longer term, the students are surveyed as high school juniors and seniors to determine if this experience has had an effect on their plans for further education in STEM fields and MatSE. On a more global scale, we intend to offer the modules developed as part of this program to other schools as self-contained kits.This presentation will describe the contents of a module on shape memory alloys and initial survey results and anecdotal experience from interaction with the teachers and students at Sci Tech.
12:15 PM - XX2.8
An Outreach Program Developed by MSE Undergraduates for Junior High Students Focused on Grade Level Expectations Requirements in Science.
David Bahr 1 Show Abstract
1 Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, United States
The Material Advantage chapter at Washington State University has developed a toolkit to address materials related science topics for students at the 7th and 8th grade levels in the state of Washington. The students in the chapter surveyed junior high school science teachers in regards to topics they had difficulty in addressing in classes. Density, magnetism, and electrical conductivity were three topics noted, of which demonstrating and teaching density of materials was noted by most of the teachers. To address these needs the students chose to develop a set of materials that could be distributed in a “kit” format to teachers for use in class demonstrations. These kits, developed as part of an informal chapter outreach activity, consist of ten materials of varying density, and include materials with different magnetic, electrical and optical properties. In addition to the ten identically sized materials (cylindrical rods), a graduated cylinder, an electrical conductivity tester, and a magnet are included in the kit. An accompanying worksheet prompts the junior high school students to separate the materials using the properties noted above, and gives example applications of each type of material. The kits are given to schools and distributed free of charge to participating junior high teachers, with one kit for every two students in their class. This presentation documents the activities and distribution of the kits which have reached over 700 students in the state.
12:30 PM - XX2.9
The Other Underrepresented Group: Increasing the Involvement of Persons with Disabilities in Materials Research and Education Programs.
Nitin Padture 1 3 , Margo Izzo 2 4 , Katharine Flores 1 3 , Christopher Andersen 1 2 5 Show Abstract
1 Center for Emergent Materials, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States, 3 Materials Science and Engineering, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States, 2 Ohio's STEM Ability Alliance, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States, 4 Nisonger Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States, 5 Office of Research, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States
When researchers apply for research funding, federal agencies continue to encourage the involvement of individuals from groups that are underrepresented in science and engineering. For example, the National Science Foundation’s Broader Impacts review criterion (a required component of all proposals for funding to the agency) asks applicants to consider, “How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups?” In addition, NSF states that the agency will give careful consideration in making funding decisions to enable the participation “of all citizens -- women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities.” However, efforts to broaden participation from underrepresented groups focus overwhelmingly on women and certain racial/ethnic groups, even though persons with disabilities represent the largest group that is underrepresented in STEM fields.The proposed session describes the collaboration between two National Science Foundation-funded research centers with the joint goal of fostering the involvement of persons with disabilities in K-12 outreach and undergraduate research experiences. Ohio State’s Center for Emergent Materials (CEM) is an NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center with an extensive education and human resources development program that is closely integrated with the center’s plan to increase the diversity of all its activities. To further this end, the CEM is closely collaborating with Ohio's STEM Ability Alliance (OSAA), an NSF Alliance for Students with Disabilities in STEM that is funded by the NSF Research in Disabilities Education program. The OSAA at Ohio State seeks to increase the number of students with disabilities who complete higher education degrees in STEM fields. The proposed session will describe the development and implementation of the CEM and OSAA strategy for increasing the participation of students with disabilities in CEM research activities, university STEM outreach programs to K-12 students, and collaborations with informal science education providers in the area.
12:45 PM - XX2.10
Engaging High School Students in University Research.
Kathleen Davis 1 , Joseph Muskin 1 Show Abstract
1 Mechanical Science and Engineering, Nano-CEMMS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, United States
The National Academy of Engineering reports that many students bypass engineering as a career choice in pursuit of fields that will perceivably provide more opportunity for helping others and contributing to society (Changing the Conversation, 2008). Such misconceptions—compounded by an absence of engineering from K-12 curricula—increase the need for educational programs earlier in students’ academic careers. Specifically, the NAE reports that programs must facilitate more contact between engineers and students over a sustained period of time (Raising Public Awareness of Engineering, 2002).One such outreach program is NanoChallenge, offered by Nano-CEMMS at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. High school students work as part of a collaborative group for one year to explore a topic in-depth. The majority of student projects have a materials science component and are based on current research. Students conduct hands-on research at University facilities with support from professors and graduate students, and communicate their results to the public at a culminating activity. An external program evaluation shows to what extent the program affects participants’ perceptions of engineering and their ideas about pursuing degrees in STEM fields.The program places an emphasis on involving students from traditionally underrepresented groups, providing students with a more tangible idea of what engineers do and providing opportunities for students to improve their problem-solving skills. To address these items, the session will include some discussion about student recruitment and program planning. Strategies for selecting appropriate and accessible research projects will also be shared. Finally, student contributions and results from past projects will be highlighted.
XX3: Materials Education at Universities
Tuesday PM, November 30, 2010
Room 305 (Hynes)
2:30 PM - **XX3.1
Lessons Learned from a Comprehensive Nanotechnology Education and Outreach Program: The National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network at Six Years.
Nancy Healy 1 Show Abstract
1 Nanotechnology Research Center, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
The National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) is an NSF-sponsored program of 14 universities which serve as state-of-the-art resource centers for those doing research in nanoscale science and engineering. NNIN is charge with accelerating and enabling U.S. leadership in engineering, science and technology of the nanoscale. As part of this vision, NNIN has developed a large and varied education and outreach program that reaches all age and educational levels. To meet the workforce needs of nanotechnology (estimated by NSF to be 2 million by 2015), it is imperative that all aspects of our society learn early about this emerging area of science and engineering. NNIN began operation in March of 2004 and the number of programs rapidly grew to reach K-12 students and teachers, undergraduates, graduate students, adult professionals, and the general public. Each year, we directly reach over 20,000 individuals through our programs and another 100,000 indirectly.Our programs include those that are network-wide and national in scope and those that are local and meet the needs of the specific site’s community. We have found that this two-pronged approach has led to a successful and diverse education program. At the national scale we have: Research Experience for Undergraduates, International Research for Undergraduates, International Research Experience for Graduate Students, Research Experience for Teachers, Lab Experience for Faculty, the International Winter School for Graduate Students, Nanotechnology Showcase, Symposia, Workshops, Nanooze, and our web site (nnin.org). At the local level, sites have: K-12 visits (on and off-site), teacher workshops, camps, community days/local speaking programs, NanoDays, community and four-year college visits/programs, seminars/workshops, NanoExpress, and user training and support. This presentation will provide information on how these programs have developed, how they are integrated across the network, and what lessons we have learned from running a large comprehensive nanoeducation program. One of the valuable lessons we have learned is that it is critical to have a well-constructed logic model and evaluation instruments to determine the effectiveness of the programs. To coordinate and manage such diverse programs we implemented early on a data management system called the Education Events Manager which all sites are required to use. This system allows us to keep track of activities as well as develop reports on events and demographics of program participants. A strong communication network that allows for continuous communication across the sites is another critical component of our programs. Examples of evaluation results and how they have been used for program improvement will also be shared.
3:00 PM - XX3.2
Providing Educational Outreach Components to Materials Research.
Patricia Dixon 1 , Jose Sanchez 1 Show Abstract
1 National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, United States
The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory is in a unique position to provide educational outreach opportunities at all levels, from pre-school to graduate as well as professional development for pre-service and in-service teachers. Since 1997, the Center for Integrating Research and Learning has provided a diverse menu of educational outreach opportunities that not only translate research being conducted at the lab, but assist researchers at all levels in meeting broader impacts criteria when applying for grants. Having all educational outreach programs, including REU and RET, classroom outreach and professional development under one umbrella centralizes educational activities and ensures quality programming.The Center itself consists of professional science educators who help guide programming to best support the lab’s mission and to serve students, teachers, and the general public by increasing scientific literacy among these groups. While not all laboratories or institutions have this level of educational outreach, the programs described in this presentation serve as an outline for researchers interested in adding educational components to their research agenda, for institutions that wish to expand or enhance their outreach offerings, for individuals and institutions seeking to create partnerships in educational endeavors, and for materials science professionals interested in best practices in educational outreach.This presentation demonstrates that quality educational outreach can be accomplished in a great variety of ways – from judging a local science fair to a structured program such as Research Experiences for Undergraduates. Encouraging students to learn more about STEM fields, to develop a greater understanding of the nature of scientific research, to become more curious about how scientists solve problems, can be powerful agents of change. Programs described in this presentation include:Outreach and TourResearch Experiences for Undergraduates Research Experiences for Teachers Professional Development Camps for Middle and High School Students Internships Community Partnerships Research and Program Evaluation
3:15 PM - XX3.3
The Undergraduate Science Research Experience (USRE) and its Transformative Nature for Houston Community College Students.
Bartlett Sheinberg 1 Show Abstract
1 West Houston Center for Science & Engineering, Houston Community College, Houston, Texas, United States
Since 2005 the West Houston Center for Science and Engineering, Houston Community College-Northwest (HCC-NW) has provided HCC students with the opportunity to conduct substantive summer research projects in the areas of materials science, mechanical and electrical engineering, nanoscience and other multidisciplinary research areas. Students have had the opportunity to participate in research experiences at regional universities and NASA-Johnson Space Center.This talk will describe the administrative and student support structure of these research experiences from the perspective of community college program administration, university faculty and mentors, funding sources and will discuss the transformative nature of these experiences for HCC students, both academically and personally, including the enhanced motivation of these students towards completion of their undergraduate degrees and providing a strong impetus for consideration of graduate school as a next step along their academic and professional careers. Sheinberg will highlight plans to consider expansion of the USRE to include research investigations in other states and internationally.
3:30 PM - XX3.4
Team-based Interdisciplinary Materials Research Using Image Processing.
Christine Broadbridge 1 2 , Jacquelynn Garofano 1 , Thomas Sadowski 2 3 , John DaPonte 3 Show Abstract
1 Center for Research on Interface Structures and Phenomena, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States, 2 Department of Physics, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States, 3 Department of Computer Science, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
There is an acute and well-documented need for image processing of microscopy data in materials science regarding, for example, the characterization of the structure/property relationship of a given materials system. In our work, image processing has been used as a framework for conducting interdisciplinary team-based research that effectively integrates research experiences for undergraduates (REU), teachers (RET) and high school participants. This research resulted from a five-year long collaboration between the physics and computer science departments at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) and the Center for Research on Interface Structures and Phenomena (CRISP) REU and RET programs. Participants from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies New York City Research Initiative were also included on the research teams. Over the course of this collaboration undergraduates participated in both materials fabrication and characterization while working collectively with high school teachers and students, graduate students, post-docs and faculty researchers. Samples were fabricated in specialized CRISP facilities at Yale while the characterization took place in the CRISP NanoCharacterization Facility at SCSU. ImageJ was applied to different imaging modalities, i.e. data collected from atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). A wide range of image processing algorithms were implemented in ImageJ including a variety of pre-processing filters, several thresholding algorithms and particle analysis. For example, image texture algorithms based on surface texture were applied to AFM images to correlate structure to processing conditions and particle analysis was applied to TEM images to assess the size distribution of nanoparticles. This paper will focus on the implementation of team-based research experiences as a vehicle for interdisciplinary science and education. Representative results of several of the studies will be presented and discussed.
3:45 PM - XX3.5
Teaching Material Science for Increased Student Engagement.
Cindy Waters 1 , Steve Krause 2 Show Abstract
1 , NCA&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, United States, 2 Materials Engineering, Arizona State, Tempe, Arizona, United States
Education advocates and experts have a plethora of experiences and evidentiary research verifying the importance of student engagement in the education process. The millennial student is an expert at finding new tools and media to enhance their lives and these students search for relevance in the activities they choose and the classes they take. A challenge as educators is to increase the relevance of the core courses without spending an enormous amount of time planning the adaptations. Teaching styles that work with millennial students involve the instructor acting as facilitator of learning. Providing directed active engagement within the educational environment from the start of their experience will greatly assist the learning process of these students. As educators, we are aware of topics in the core courses that are difficult for our students to learn, yet necessary for their development as engineers. The research question for this work is; to what extent do student engagement activities such as concept-context worksheets, process oriented guided inquiry learning worksheets and student test design support student learning in an Introduction to Material Science course. In this research we are reporting on the implementation of teaching and learning modules for an introductory materials science and engineering course. Cognitive psychology has a theory of brain function when we attempt to explain the world as the formation of mental models. The modules described in this paper have been created to utilize the creation of mental models and are exciting advances for those teaching in this area because of the ease of implementation and adaptation for a particular student population. Implementation of these activities has the potential to lower the barrier to faculty participation in active learning. The media slogan “It’s so easy, a caveman can do it” is the guiding principle behind the development of these activities and this paper will also present reflections of a diverse cross-section of teaching faculty to these classroom methods. Another important aspect of these pedagogical efforts is to increase student efficacy of their learning. A mixed method approach was utilized to assess the student opinions. These included daily reflections, periodic Blackboard surveys with essay and Likert type questions and final course reflections. Two diverse student populations from two geographically distant campuses were surveyed. The results were overwhelmingly positive when the student were asked to rate the effect of the classroom activities on its support of their student learning. A full description and analysis of data will be presented in the full paper.
4:30 PM - XX3.6
Properties that Change with Size: Laboratory Experiments in Nanotechnology.
George Lisensky 1 , Jamie Eversage 1 , Tess Jacquez 1 , Kyle McElhinny 2 , Katie Cadwell 3 Show Abstract
1 Chemistry Department, Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin, United States, 2 , University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, United States, 3 , Madison Area Technical College, Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Hands-on laboratory experience can provide the opportunity to interact with nanoscale phenomena. The idea that nanomaterials can have different properties than bulk materials of the same composition is a fundamental concept of nanoscience. Experiments suitable for undergraduate laboratory experiments that demonstrate this concept include the plasmon resonances of gold and silver nanoparticles, the band-gap of cadmium sulfide or cadmium selenide quantum dots and the magnetic properties of ferromagnetic materials. These experiments are part of an online Video Lab Manual that is being developed, refined and class tested at institutions working with the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center on Nanostructured Interfaces at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (http://mrsec.wisc.edu/Edetc/nanolab).
4:45 PM - XX3.7
Interactive Simulations for Learning Fundamental Concepts from Nanoscale Science.
Colin Ashe 1 2 , David Yaron 1 , Donald Sadoway 2 , Laura Bartolo 3 , W. Craig Carter 2 , John Portman 3 , Michael Karabinos 1 , Aaron Slodov 3 , Arthur Barnard 4 , Jodi Davenport 5 Show Abstract
1 , Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 2 , Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, 3 , Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, United States, 4 , Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, United States, 5 , WestEd, Oakland, California, United States
Nanoscale science is quickly becoming an essential component of a broad range of fields, including the physical sciences, engineering, and the life sciences. Although there are unifying big ideas (such as entropy, self-assembly, weak vs. strong molecular forces, kinetic vs. thermodynamic control) that cross these disciplines, students currently learn the material in a piecewise manner and so typically do not see the big picture. In addition, the concepts involve frameworks such as statistical mechanics and thermodynamics that are widely acknowledged to be abstract and difficult to learn.In this talk, we present a series of interactive computer simulations designed to teach students concepts that are fundamental to nanoscale science. Current topics include: free energy landscapes for thermally activated processes, exchange phenomena such as proton and electron exchange, and weak versus strong intermolecular forces. The simulations use model systems that allow students to explore the effects of altering the system parameters, along with curriculum materials and suggested exercises that guide student inquiry. The materials were used by freshman level students in a chemistry course at Carnegie Mellon University and a materials science course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The materials were also used by advanced undergraduates in a biophysics course at Kent State University.The educational materials developed, including the simulations and curriculum are freely available on Matdl.org, the Materials Pathway in the National Science Foundation’s National Science Digital Library project. This NSF Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) Phase 2 project is actively seeking to expand its user base and form collaborations in order to expand the breadth of subject matter available to instructors and students.
5:00 PM - XX3.8
Introducing Nanoscience Concepts, Techniques, and Skills in the Undergraduate Curriculum.
Ana-Rita Mayol 1 , Maria del Mar Garcia 1 , Idaliz Rodriguez 1 , Eduardo Mosquera 1 , Adriana Herrera 2 , Manuel Gomez 1 Show Abstract
1 Chemistry and Physics, UPR-Rio Piedras, San Juan United States, 2 Chemical Enginnering, UPR-Mayaguez, Mayaguez United States
The interdisciplinary nature of nanoscience brings the opportunity of designing educational materials that expose students to different disciplines while exposing them to current research results, concepts, and skills. Nanoscience research uses specialized equipment and techniques that most teaching laboratories at the undergraduate level do not have available due to lack of resources or people prepared to teach these techniques. The teaching laboratories typically lack modern equipment and innovative experiments that promote problem solving skills and shows new applications. This work will present laboratory experiences developed for undergraduate courses that employ the new approaches and tools while exploring the fundamentals of science and will familiarize students with modern research topics and techniques. The curriculum has been developed by aligning the course content with the “Big Ideas” in nanoscience to ensure that the basic concepts in nanoscience are covered.
5:15 PM - XX3.9
Training Researchers in Micro- and Nanotechnologies.
Maarten de Boer 1 , Zayd Leseman 2 Show Abstract
1 Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 2 Mechanical Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Effective researchers in micro- and nanotechnologies require many skills including design, simulation, fabrication, experimentation and comparing theory to data. A two semester senior/graduate level course jointly taught at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA) and the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM) is under development to address all of these areas. In one course, students learn computer-aided design via AutoCAD software with Sandia National Laboratories’ MEMS layout tools, and enter a design competition midway through the semester. Devices are fabricated free of cost at Sandia and returned for analysis by the following class. Students learn simulation through basic mechanics, MATLAB software and ANSYS software. Example topics include non-linearities in static and resonant spring elements, 2-D and 3-D electrostatics, electromechanical, thermal and piezoelectric actuation, microfluidics, capillary forces and thin substrate flexures. Laboratory exercises reinforce concepts learned in lectures. Experimental techniques include laser-doppler velocimetry, phase-stepping interferometry, atomic force microscopy and contact angle goniometry. Experiments include actuation and motion characterization of MEMS devices using scripting software, resonance, adhesion mechanisms and contact mechanics. In a second course, fabrication methods including lithography, dry and wet etching, thin film deposition, etc., are taught through lectures, while laboratories in which students devise micro- and nanodevices are conducted in a clean room. This course sequence provides students a broad background upon which to build for their graduate research. Formative assessment of the courses has been undertaken. Overwhelmingly the students indicate strong support of the hands-on laboratories as well as for involvement in the Sandia Design Competition.
5:30 PM - XX3.10
Take Matter Into Your Own Hands - Bringing Nanotechnology Education Into Post Secondary Curriculum.
Robert Ehrmann 1 2 , Travis Benanti 1 2 Show Abstract
1 NACK: National Center for Nanotechnolgy Applications and Career Knowledge, Penn State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, United States, 2 Engineering Science, Penn State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, United States
In response to industry’s growing need for workers with hands-on nano-scale skill sets, nanotechnology courses as well as degree programs are emerging at community / technical colleges and baccalaureate institutions all across the US as well as the rest of the world. The NSF National ATE Center for Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge (NACK) at Penn State was established in September 2008 to provide assistance (lecture material, hands-on laboratories, remote access to hi-tech laboratory tools, logistical support, etc) to existing or developing nanotechnology education and workforce development programs at US post secondary institutions. This presentation will include a review of the status of nanotechnology integration at community and technical colleges, provide data on industry needs for nanotechnology trained workers, and provide a review of the many educational resources and services that are available to assist existing, developing, and new nanotechnology courses / programs. This session will introduce attendees to the many resources available to educators, students, nanotech program alumni, and industry through NACK's www.nano4me.org website. In addition, this session will touch upon resources NACK has available for the integration of nanotechnology into secondary education as well as available nanotechnology outreach material and program recruitment strategies.
5:45 PM - XX3.11
Introductory Materials Science and Engineering Lectures in the Vocabulary of Graphic Design: Improving Student Comprehension and Retention in Engineering Lectures.
Steven Yalisove 1 , Franc Nunoo-Quarcoo 2 Show Abstract
1 Materials Science and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States, 2 School of Art and Design, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Graphic designers are experts at communicating with imagery. Introductory Materials Science and Engineering lectures are not typically prepared by graphic designers but by engineering faculty. This work is an attempt to infuse the best practices of graphic design into introductory materials science and engineering lecture design by developing a set of graphic grids and iconic images for a set of typical lecture activities in collaboration with the School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan. Central to the approach is a focus on the active learning needs of a student during a lecture. This includes separating computer generated material from handwritten chalkboard material. These graphic grids and iconic images provide a pathway for enhanced comprehension during lecture and retention afterwards. Results from assessment of comprehension and retention will be presented. Significant (>25%) improvements in student evaluation scores have resulted from this approach when compared to a 12 year history of data. The development of methodologies for rapid acquisition of graphic design skills and adoption of these techniques by other Materials Science and Engineering faculty will also be presented.
XX4: Poster Session
Wednesday AM, December 01, 2010
Exhibition Hall D (Hynes)
9:00 PM - XX4.1
The Emergence of Immersive Low-Cost 3D Virtual Reality Environments as an Interactive Learning Tool in Materials Science Education.
Lilian Davila 1 , Benjamin Doblack 1 , Claudia Flores 2 , Teenie Matlock 2 Show Abstract
1 Materials Science and Engineering, School of Engineering, University of California Merced, Merced, California, United States, 2 Cognitive Science, School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, University of California Merced, Merced, California, United States
Materials science is an interdisciplinary field that examines the structure-property relationships in matter for its applications to many areas of science and engineering. Providing a means for instinctual development of understanding of these relationships to young learners and university undergraduates alike is critical. The effectiveness of an immersive low-cost 3D virtual reality (VR) environment was evaluated during a pilot study sponsored by the Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems (COINS) program. The 3D VR environment involves the use of a specialized display, sensors, computers, and immersive technology equipment. In collaboration with Cognitive Science investigators, our research focused on understanding the impact of the 3D VR environment on the visual ability to perceive structures in three dimensions and on quantifying the learning of COINS participants. The premise of the research study was to measure the learning of several undergraduate participants in order to evaluate the quality of the learning environment. Our investigation consisted of 3 stages in which participants learned about carbon nanotubes (CNTs) via traditional methods, physical models and virtual models. Traditional methods (2D models) were not appealing to participants and did not facilitate depth perception. Physical (ball-and-stick) models motivated participants by allowing interactivity but bond/angle measurements were complicated. Virtual models (3D models) offered complete manipulation, real-time measurements and the capability of mimicking realistic atomic forces (attractive/repulsive), giving the user a better insight into the structure of CNTs compared to previous methods. While immersive environments offer virtual models with some of the same benefits of physical models, it is the extended features (e.g. accurate distance representation, computer simulations capability and analysis tools for further investigations) that poise such environments as an effective learning tool for material science education. Preliminary data analysis suggests that highly accurate perception of a molecular structure is facilitated by the use of immersive environments in which the operator may manipulate and measure important intrinsic information about the structure. Moreover, computer simulations of materials are of great scientific interest for technological progress. The immersive 3D VR environment can be developed to perform atomistic simulations via the compute unified device architecture, enabling scientists to perform highly accelerated calculations to solve problems with performance enhancements in the range of 150x over conventional methods. Another important value in the immersive 3D VR environment lies in its expanded use for multi-disciplinary research, influencing science learning, structure-dependent applications and design of nanodevices in fields such as materials science, cognitive science, nanotechnology, and computer science.
9:00 PM - XX4.10
The Effectiveness of Interactive Low-Cost 3D Virtual Reality Environments on Materials Science Education.
Lilian Davila 1 , Teenie Matlock 2 , Benjamin Doblack 1 , Claudia Flores 2 Show Abstract
1 Materials Science and Engineering, School of Engineering, University of California Merced, Merced, California, United States, 2 Cognitive Science, School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts, University of California Merced, Merced, California, United States
Materials science researchers frequently study the structure-property relationships in matter for its applications to numerous areas of science and engineering. Providing a means for instinctual development of understanding of these relationships to young learners and university undergraduates alike is critical. In particular, in the field of nanoscience the mind of learners must rely on the visual ability to perceive nanoscale structures in three dimensions. The effectiveness of an immersive low-cost 3D virtual reality (VR) environment was evaluated during a pilot study sponsored by the Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems (COINS) program. The 3D VR environment involves the use of a specialized display, sensors, computers, and immersive technology equipment. In collaboration with Cognitive Science investigators, our research focused on understanding the impact of the 3D VR environment on the visual ability to perceive structures in three dimensions and on quantifying the learning of COINS participants. The premise of the research study was to measure the learning of undergraduate participants in order to evaluate the quality of the learning environment. Our investigation consisted of 3 stages in which participants learned about carbon nanotubes (CNTs) via traditional methods, physical models and virtual models. Traditional methods (2D models) were not appealing to participants and did not facilitate depth perception. Physical (ball-and-stick) models motivated participants by allowing interactivity but bond/angle measurements were complicated. Virtual models (3D models) offered complete manipulation, real-time measurements and the capability of mimicking realistic atomic forces, giving the user a better insight into the structure of CNTs compared to previous methods. Immersive environments offer extended features (e.g. accurate bond distance representation, computer simulations capability and analysis tools) that poise such environments as an effective learning tool for material science education. Moreover, computer simulations of materials are of great scientific interest for technological progress. The immersive 3D VR environment can be developed to perform atomistic simulations via the compute unified device architecture, enabling scientists to perform highly accelerated calculations to solve problems with performance enhancements of 150x over conventional methods. Another important value in the immersive 3D VR environment lies in its expanded use for multi-disciplinary research, influencing fields such as materials science, engineering, cognitive science, nanotechnology and computer science.
9:00 PM - XX4.11
Creating an Inexpensive 3D Printer to Engage Students in Material Science Education.
Joseph Muskin 1 , Kathleen Carroll 1 Show Abstract
1 Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, United States
Material science can be used to enrich secondary school curriculum and illuminate for students the connection between science and technology. Based on materials research being conducted at the University of Illinois, we have developed an interdisciplinary activity that integrates engineering with chemistry and material science.Students investigate the behaviors of polymers by creating 3-dimensional (3-D) objects. Students can design objects that they “print” on the order of a cubic inch in about 20 minutes. The process students use to create these objects shows the application of engineering to material science in a novel and engaging way.A photoactive chemical is initiated by the UV and blue light emitted from a data projector. This causes the formation of free radicals, which interact with molecules of a monomer and cause a polymerization reaction. The visual result of this reaction is that a liquid solidifies where students shine light. With black-and-white images, a data projector can direct the light to form any shape. This process can be easily modified to create true 3-D objects by adding another layer of the liquid to the top of the object and then shining the light again. With about 20 dollars worth of supplies from a hardware store, a simple staging device can be created to greatly simplify the process to create a 3-D printer in the classroom. Fabrication of this device can be done by students because the projector controls the x and y array of pixels; the object only needs to move in the z direction, unlike traditional rapid prototyping machines which control movement in the x, y, and z directions. Results of integration into high school and college curriculum are discussed, and methods of integration and student perceptions of the activity are reported.
9:00 PM - XX4.2
Open Educational Resources for the Materials teaching community (Core-materials).
Tim Bullough 1 2 , Peter Goodhew 1 2 , Adam Mannis 2 , Andrew Green 3 Show Abstract
1 School of Engineering, University of Liverpool, Liverpool United Kingdom, 2 , UK Centre for Materials Education, Liverpool United Kingdom, 3 MATTER, University of Liverpool, Liverpool United Kingdom
There is always a demand for quality electronic teaching resources to support the teaching and learning of Materials. As part of a pilot project led by The UK Centre for Materials Education in conjunction with over 20 academic and industrial collaborators from around the world, the “CORE-Materials” repository (core.materials.ac.uk) provides over 1200 open educational resources (OERs, a well known example of which is MIT’s OpenCourseWare) in Materials Science and Engineering, all freely available under a range of Creative Commons licenses. So far over 750 micrographs, 150 interactive simulations, 160 texts, and 130 videos and animations have been added. These were all pre-existing resources that have now been repurposed and released freely available online, licensed for open use and for repurposing worldwide. The CORE-Materials project also included development of a facetted search interface for the materials discipline to allow resources on specific materials topics to be easily found by faculty and students. A “taxonomy” for the materials discipline was developed, which includes over 160 disciplinary terms used to tag the resources, adding significant “value” to each resource. Initial evaluation of the resource finder and the OER resources by both students and faculty has indicated the project has been very successful in providing a central repository for quality materials teaching resources. The next stage is to encourage other faculty and materials teaching providers to contribute. Examples of the materials teaching resource will be shown, and the issues associated with this project will be discussed, including the motivation underpinning the open release of teaching resources in general, and the (often rather vague and frustrating) processes and policies associated with the release of such resources.
9:00 PM - XX4.3
Outreach and Education Efforts at the Molecular Foundry.
Aditi Risbud 1 Show Abstract
1 Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California, United States
Nanoscience uses aspects of chemistry, physics, biology and engineering to address scientific problems in energy, healthcare, security and technology. Scientists in this field often work in multidisciplinary settings, which suggests new content—unlike that offered in traditionally single-discipline high school and community college courses—must be developed. Instructors are faced with the daunting task of accurately describing nanoscience in the context of their discipline, while inspiring students to explore careers in nanotechnology. The Molecular Foundry, a nanoscience user facility located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, offers a workshop for high school and community college science and engineering educators interested in learning basic concepts and research developments in nanoscience. This workshop is designed to provide content for instructors to use in their classrooms, along with an opportunity for scientists and instructors to interact informally. In addition, a highly successful Saturday morning seminar series, NanoHigh, now in its eighth year, is aimed at high school students interested in learning about the breakthroughs, potential issues and societal impact of nanoscience.
9:00 PM - XX4.4
The Impact of Hands-on Experience in Undergraduate Nanotechnology Education.
Joseph Oxenham 1 , Kasif Teker 1 Show Abstract
1 Physics and Engineering, Frostburg State University, Frostburg, Maryland, United States
Nanotechnology, a field interested in materials with features smaller than 100 nanometers and possessing novel properties, is a field that is unquestionably in a period of rapid growth. As the limits of existing technologies are pressed, the need arises for faster, better, and stronger materials and devices. Manipulation of matter on the nanoscale is quickly becoming the next frontier of materials and technology. Due to the scale of the phenomena and the exploratory nature of nanoscience and nanotechnology, a high degree of knowledge in many diverse fields is required. This requires a centralized presentation to students in order to best teach them the required knowledge. In the past, knowledge has mostly been transferred hand-to-hand on an active level. However, in modern education, the classroom and lectures take a more active role. With this rise, the position and focus of hands-on work has diminished [1.], while at the same time undergraduates remain isolated from research being conducted at universities . With the broad nature of nanoscience and nanotechnology, it is becoming more important to maximize students’ learning ability in order to train future researchers and workforce. This paper explores the impact of a hands-on research experience in undergraduate nanotechnology education. This experience is presented to show the importance of student involvement on hands-on projects for their learning process. In this experience, the tools used include chemical vapor deposition technique, atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and infrared spectroscopy. References:1. Feisel, L. D. and A. J. Rosa “The Role of the Laboratory in Undergraduate Engineering Education”, J. of Engr. Edu. 94 (1): 121–130, 2005.2. Boyer, “The Boyer commission: Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blue Print for America’s Research Universities,” 1998.
9:00 PM - XX4.5
Science Outreach In Nontraditional Environments.
C. Smith 1 , S. Budak 2 , J. Chacha 2 , M. Pugh 2 , K. Heidary 2 , B. Johnson 3 , C. Muntele 1 , D. Ila 1 Show Abstract
1 Center for Irradiation of Materials, Alabama A&M University Research Institute, Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, Alabama, United States, 2 Electrical Engineering, Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, Alabama, United States, 3 Physics, Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, Alabama, United States
Due to need of more students in the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) area of studies, new and innovative ways of attracting students is required for sustaining and increasing technological advancements in the United States. We established a laboratory in an urban community center in the city of Huntsville, AL. The lab is situated in a lower income environment in proximity of public housing development. This provides students from nontraditional backgrounds with easy access to a laboratory environment. The students receive demonstrations in various areas of science and technology. We will report lessons learned, student development and community responses to the facility.
9:00 PM - XX4.6
Nanotechnology In Undergraduate Education.
C. Smith 1 , S. Budak 2 , J. Chacha 2 , M. Pugh 2 , K. Heidary 2 , B. Johnson 3 , C. Muntele 1 , D. Ila 1 Show Abstract
1 Center for Irradiation of Materials, Alabama A&M University Research Institute, Alabama A&M University, Normal, Alabama, United States, 2 Electrical Engineering, Alabama A&M University, Normal, Alabama, United States, 3 Physics, Alabama A&M University, Normal, Alabama, United States
Experimental laboratory experiences are needed to supplement classroom lectures at the undergraduate level in our universities. This is especially true for specialized areas such as nanotechnology. Therefore, we have implemented nanotechnology applications as part of a senior project course for electrical engineers. The focus is to provide an interactive hands-on experience in nanofabrication and characterization of nanostructures. The students are assigned to a research project and mentored in performing research in a laboratory setting. They are required to support and lead specific activities within the project, and also produce reports and presentations on their activities. We document student involvement and development during the course.
9:00 PM - XX4.7
Bringing Nanoscience Research and Concepts into the Classroom and to the General Public.
Ana-Rita Mayol 1 , Manuel Gomez 2 , Maria del Mar Garcia 1 , Natalia Rivera 1 , Luis Maldonado 1 , Jessica Ramos 2 , Beverly Santos 2 , Maria del Mar Maldonado 2 Show Abstract
1 Chemistry, UPR-Rio Piedras, San Juan United States, 2 , Institute for Functional Nanomaterials, San Juan United States
The Institute for Functional Nanomaterials (IFN) is a research center that brings together 44 nanoscientist from 5 higher education institutions in Puerto Rico. The Education and Outreach Program (EOP) is dedicated to bring nanosciecne concepts and application to the K-16+ continuum. The interdisciplinary nature of nanoscience brings the opportunity of designing educational materials that expose students to different disciplines while exposing them to current research results, concepts, and skills. The IFN EOP has an effective and complex program that includes Human Resource Development, Graduate and Undergraduate Curriculum Development, Teacher Training Program, Development and Implementation of Educational Materials, and Outreach Activities for the K-12 population and General Public. To impact the general public, the IFN has participated in NanoDays since 2007, impacting more than 10,000 people from the general public, students and teachers in the K-12 continuum by offering interactive demonstrations that illustrate the “Big Ideas” and applications in nanoscience. For this event the IFN EO team has adapted the kits form NISE Net and expanded the displays to showcase the research activities of the IFN. Graduate students supervised by IFN researchers and EO staff help develop the demonstrations. Trained high school, undergraduate and graduate students come together in a massive event offered at Plaza Las Americas Mall, the 15th largest mall in the US, to share the knowledge in the field in a fun and engaging environment. This work will present the interactive demonstrations and the educational materials developed for training high school, undergraduate and graduate students to serve as presenter in this event.
9:00 PM - XX4.8
Fostering a Conceptual Understanding in Undergraduate Materials Education: A Multivariable Animated Spreadsheet Approach.
Scott Sinex 1 , Joshua Halpern 2 Show Abstract
1 Physical Sciences & Engineering, Prince George's Community College, Largo, Maryland, United States, 2 Chemistry, Howard University, Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Visualization of concepts can be a powerful tool for materials educators. Spreadsheets provide straightforward and effective graphical means for presenting data and manipulating variables. They can be used to enhance simple concept visualization. These interactive animated spreadsheets are computationally-based with no programming. They use a variety of graphical tricks, but are easy to design and modify by instructors or even students. Our MatSci Excelets (Javaless applet-like Excel spreadsheets) collection of over three dozen spreadsheets allows instructors to create an engaging pedagogy in the classroom for sophomore level materials science courses or add materials components to other lower division classes in chemistry, physics, or engineering. We will illustrate concept visualization and spreadsheet construction using zero-order kinetics and Snell’s law. Both of these topics allow students to see how parameters influence the system under discussion and discover concepts via the mode of questioning posed by the instructor. These spreadsheets allow a multivariable approach and in the case of zero-order kinetics, we can examine experimental error as well. We can safely camouflage the mathematics and then introduce it after concept development. Students feel comfortable using spreadsheets and applaud the dynamic visual aspects. Minimal experience with Excel is required to use the Excelets. The MatSci Excelets can be used to stimulate discussion in lecture and extend laboratory activities, as well as for student projects both in and out-of-class using readily available software. A predict-test-analyze cycle incorporates students explaining what they observe can easily be developed with these learning tools. Many of the Excelets contain assessment questions using data to explore concepts even further. Hence students use the spreadsheet for data analysis and simple mathematical modeling. These are both important science processes that are lacking in most beginning textbooks. Excelets address the visual (various types of graphs, use of conditional formatting) and kinesthetic (interactive features) learning styles. They can be used by high school and college students as well as a being a very useful professional development tool for pre- and in-service teachers. Using the forms tools in Excel insures that Excelets will function on both the PC and Mac and; many will function 100% in Open Office Calc with some cosmetic clean up. This work is supported by the Howard/Hopkins/PGCC Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM), which is funded by NSF Grant No. DMR-0611595. Numerous other examples and all the resources necessary to develop these interactive spreadsheets are available at http://academic.pgcc.edu/~ssinex/excelets/matsci_excelets.htm.
9:00 PM - XX4.9
Using Display Technology to Teach Materials Science.
John Sarik 1 , Ioannis Kymissis 1 Show Abstract
1 Electrical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, New York, United States
From televisions and computers to smartphones and e-book readers, displays are everywhere. Modern displays can be used to demonstrate the practical applications of materials science and the properties of unique materials, such as transparent conductors, liquid crystals, and amorphous and polycrystalline semiconductors. We developed a series of hands-on fabrication activities that introduce three prevalent display technologies - inorganic electroluminescence (EL), organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), and liquid crystal displays (LCDs). These activities can be completed outside of a laboratory setting using relatively inexpensive materials and are appropriate for a wide range of students, from elementary students to graduate students. At the end of each activity, students can take home a fully functional, visually striking display device.