Symposium BI1—Today’s Teaching and Learning in Materials Science—Challenges and Advances

Innovative and effective instruction in the area of materials science parallels many efforts in related STEM areas. The need to strategically address the many dimensions of teaching and learning in materials science and related fields originates from our desire to produce the highest quality graduates possible. The goals of these efforts include generating highly skilled, productive, motivated and creative scientists and technologists. In today’s world, the necessary skills range from scientific and technological knowledge and practices as well as abilities to communicate and lead. Materials science is a multi-disciplinary field of study which continues to grow in breadth (e.g., bio-, nano-, soft, electronic, photonic, green materials, etc.). The interdisciplinary nature of our field continually challenges in designing curricula to prepare students for their future work. This symposium will include the examination of several dimensions and approaches to achieving these goals. Included are innovative instructional formats, methods of measurement and assessment, student acceptance, faculty involvement, and institutional roles. Clearly the use of technology, use of teaching formats such as flipped/blended/hybrid learning and various forms of online instruction are of interest. In these and similar formats, we would like to examine best practices which encourage strong student participation and involvement, an increase in active learning (as opposed to “just seat time”) and effective integration of research into the curriculum. Other areas of interest include professional development, recruitment of women and students from under-represented groups, encouraging high school students to explore materials science, innovations in laboratory and computational experiences, and the development of in-class activities that engage students effectively. Topics related to adaptive learning and competency based learning are also welcome. Practices encouraging interdisciplinary approaches, ethics, and impact of emerging materials technologies on the public welfare and the environment are desired. Issues related to accreditation criteria related to modern materials education are included. In all cases, addressing realistically the benefits, problems, and value of the ideas presented above is strongly desired.

Topics will include:

  • Increasing diversity in the materials science discipline
  • Development and use of adaptive learning tools
  • Use and evaluation of educational technology tools
  • Issues of student recruitment, motivation, and retention
  • Approaches to encourage “life-long-learning”
  • Active Learning practices: e.g., flipped/blended/experimental formats
  • Developing the online materials science classroom (including issues of credit)
  • Models for face-to-face activities oriented towards active learning
  • Motivating students to view online components of courses for both retention and understanding
  • Incorporating ethics and social responsibility in the materials science curriculum
  • Teaching computational techniques and digital technology in materials science
  • Developing curricula and modules addressing new developments in materials science
  • Advanced, inquiry-based, participatory and hands-on teaching methods
  • Engaging college and pre-college students in materials science research
  • Assessment and Evaluation - realistic assessment of new learning tools and formats; student achievements, instructor evaluation
  • Development of innovative accreditation platforms (i.e., ABET Compliance)
  • Achieving in-depth student experiences and knowledge in cognitive areas such as physics and chemistry
  • A tutorial complementing this symposium is tentatively planned.

Invited Speakers:

  • Elliot Douglas (National Science Foundation, USA)
  • David Ferguson (Stony Brook University, USA)
  • Frederick Grinnell (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, USA)
  • Rebecca Isseroff (Lawrence High School, USA)
  • Tatsiana Mironava (Stony Brook University, USA)
  • Chris Ober (Cornell University, USA)
  • Janet Rankin (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Jamal Uddin (Coppin State University, USA)
  • Joseph Williams (Harvard University, USA)
  • Steve Yalisove (University of Michigan, USA)

Symposium Organizers

Tom Dickinson
Washington State University
509-335-4914, jtd@wsu.edu

Maria E. Perez Barthaburu
CURE Universidad de la República
598-44727001 ext 383, totyperez@gmail.com

Miriam Rafailovich
Stony Brook University
Materials Science and Engineering