TThe American Society for Materials (ASM) Education Foundation sponsored a Summer Teacher's Camp, which was held July 9-13, 2007, in the MAE Department's labs. During this one-week workshop, teacher participants learned the basics of Materials Science Technology as taught at the high school level. They worked hands-on with metals, ceramics, polymers and composites, thus developing a greater appreciation for the importance of these materials to modern life. This heavily project-based course excites students to learn science concepts as they complete projects of personal worth to them. Whether teachers use the information and concepts as a basis for teaching their own MST course or merely infuse the concepts into an existing science course to increase relevancy, they finish the camp prepared to make some important instructional changes as a result of their participation.
The program is based on past experiences in the areas of curriculum development, teacher training and student programs in Materials Science developed at the University of Washington and Edmonds Community College and supported by the National Science Foundations Advanced Technology Education program. These programs have demonstrated that Materials Science is an excellent tool to bring together academic and vocational instructors in a common goal of exciting students about science, technology and engineering.
Materials Science excites students' interest because the student has everyday, hands-on experience with materials. Thus, materials topics are great motivators in any engineering, technology or science course. Materials are also a very important and an integral part of the manufacturing process.