“We’re trying to help teachers develop new tools, tricks, and hands-on techniques for teaching basic materials science in ways that will engage their students and make them curious about science,” says Charles Hayes, executive director of the ASM Materials Education Foundation (ASM-MEF). For the U.S. to stay competitive in science and engineering, Hayes asserts, “we need to get youngsters interested and excited about these subjects.” Helping educators step up their science-teaching game with interesting and thought-provoking demonstrations that are safe and inexpensive is a key step in that process.
ASM-MEF is the education arm of ASM International, a northeastern Ohio-based global organization of some 36,000 members that focuses on serving the materials science and engineering profession. The education arm, which was founded in the 1950s to promote science and engineering education among young students, began organizing and hosting educational workshops for teachers in 2002.
The curriculum at these five-day camps, which are held at locations around the country during the summer and are offered at no cost to teachers, “is like Materials Science 101 at the high school level,” Hayes says. ASM discovered years ago that a substantial fraction of teachers knew little about the properties of solids and consequently underemphasized that subject in their teaching. “Yet solids make up so much of the stuff around us and are critically important to many areas of technology,” Hayes says.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc