skip to main content


Search for: All records

Award ID contains: 1663296

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. ABSTRACT In the case of General Chemistry, many engineering students only take a one semester class with important topics such as kinetics and equilibrium being given limited coverage. Considerable time is spent covering materials already covered in other courses such as General Physics and Introduction to Engineering. Moreover, most GChem courses are oriented toward health science majors and lack a materials focus relevant to engineering. Taking an atoms first approach, we developed and now run a one-semester course in general chemistry for engineers emphasizing relevant materials topics. Laboratory exercises integrate practical examples of materials science enriching the course for engineering students. First-semester calculus and a calculus-based introduction to engineering course are prerequisites, which enables teaching almost all the topics from a traditional two semester GChem course in this new course with advance topics as well. To support this course, an open access textbook in LibreText, formerly ChemWiki was developed entitled General Chemistry for Engineering . Many of the topics were supported using Chemical Excelets and Materials Science Excelets, which are interactive Excel/Calc spreadsheets. The laboratory includes data analysis and interpretation, calibration, error analysis, reactions, kinetics, electrochemistry, and spectrophotometry. To acquaint the students with online collaboration typical of today’s technical workplace Google Drive was used for data analysis and report preparation in the laboratory. 
    more » « less
  2. ABSTRACT Traditional lecture-centered approaches alone are inadequate for preparing students for the challenges of creative problem solving in the STEM disciplines. As an alternative, learnercentered and other high-impact pedagogies are gaining prominence. The Wabash College 3D Printing and Fabrication Center (3D-PFC) supports several initiatives on campus, but one of the most successful is a computer-aided design (CAD) and fabrication-based undergraduate research internship program. The first cohort of four students participated in an eight-week program during the summer of 2015. A second group of the four students was successfully recruited to participate the following summer. This intensive materials science research experience challenged students to employ digital design and fabrication in the design, testing, and construction of inexpensive scientific instrumentation for use in introductory STEM courses at Wabash College. The student research interns ultimately produced a variety of successful new designs that could be produced for less than $25 per device and successfully detect analytes of interest down to concentrations in the parts per million (ppm) range. These student-produced instruments have enabled innovations in the way introductory instrumental analysis is taught on campus. Beyond summer work, the 3D-PFC staffed student interns during the academic year, where they collaborated on various cross-disciplinary projects with students and faculty from departments such as mathematics, physics, biology, rhetoric, history, classics, and English. Thus far, the student work has led to three campus presentations, four presentations at national professional conferences, and three peer-reviewed publications. The following report highlights initial progress as well as preliminary assessment findings. 
    more » « less
  3. ABSTRACT Adoption of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) into the pre-college classroom is an ideal strategy for addressing Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), specifically the Science and Engineering Practices. MSE offers core science and engineering topics that can be incorporated into existing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematic (STEM) curricula through teaching modules. Using MSE as a teaching vehicle, the Center for Research on Interface Structures and Phenomena (CRISP) conducted a series of small-scale studies of its teacher professional development workshops and a student summer program, along with related teaching modules, in an effort to measure the contribution MSE has on students and K-12 STEM educators. Based on participant survey feedback, CRISP found improvement in students’ MSE knowledge, interests, and career goals. For teachers, in addition to improving their MSE knowledge, they also increased their comfort and confidence in teaching MSE concepts in their classroom. These results provide evidence for the use of MSE modules as productive teaching tools for NGSS Science and Engineering Practices, as well as producing workforce-competitive STEM students. 
    more » « less
  4. ABSTRACT A virtual X-Ray Laboratory for Materials Science and Engineering has been developed and used as a flexible and powerful tool to help undergraduate and graduate students become familiar with the design and operation of the X-ray equipment in visual and interactive ways in order to learn fundamental principles underlying X-ray analytical methods. The virtual equipment and lab assignments have been used for: (i) authentic online experimentation, (ii) homework and control assignments with traditional and blended courses, (iii) preparing students for hands-on work in physical X-ray labs, (iv) lecture demonstrations, and (v) performance-based assessment of students’ ability to apply gained theoretical knowledge for operating actual equipment and solving practical problems. Students have also used the virtual diffractometer linked and synchronized with an actual powder diffractometer for blended experimentation. Using the associated learning and content management system (LCMS) and authoring tools, instructors kept track of students’ performance and designed new virtual experiments and more personalized learning assignments for students. The lab has also been integrated with the MITx course available on the massive open online course edX platform for Massachusetts Institute of Technology for undergraduate students. 
    more » « less
  5. ABSTRACT The National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI) seeks to foster a community of practice that increases individual and institutional capacity for, and engagement in, broader impact (BI) activities and scholarship. NABI currently has 537 individual members representing more than 210 institutions and organizations who are part of the growing network of professionals. The National Science Foundation (NSF) evaluates all proposals on their intellectual merit and their broader impacts. Many investigators grapple with how to articulate and effectively engage broad audiences in materials science and STEM. Here, we describe the effort of NABI to address BI challenges, present the NABI document Broader Impacts, Guiding Principles and Questions for National Science Foundation Principal Investigators and Proposal Reviewers; highlight the impacts of NABI as a catalyst for building BI capacity; and provide an example of assessing an innovative program’s BI. 
    more » « less
  6. ABSTRACT The Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) calls for the acceleration of the materials development cycle through the integration of experiments and simulations within a data-aware/enabling framework. To realize this vision, MGI recognizes the need for the creation of a new kind of workforce capable of creating and/or deploying advanced informatics tools and methods into the materials discovery/development cycle. An interdisciplinary team at Texas A&M seeks to address this challenge by creating an interdisciplinary program that goes beyond MGI in that it incorporates the discipline of engineering systems design as an essential component of the new accelerated materials development paradigm. The Data-Enabled Discovery and Development of Energy Materials (D 3 EM) program seeks to create an interdisciplinary graduate program at the intersection of materials science, informatics, and design. In this paper, we describe the rationale for the creation of such a program, present the pedagogical model that forms the basis of the program, and describe some of the major elements of the program. 
    more » « less
  7. ABSTRACT This article presents a laboratory module developed for undergraduate micro/nano engineering laboratory courses in the mechanical engineering departments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. In this laboratory, students fabricate superoleophobic membranes by spray-coating of titania nanoparticles on steel meshes, characterize the surfaces and ability of the membrane to retain oil, and then use these membranes to separate an oil-water mixture. The laboratory module covers nanomaterials, nanomanufacturing, materials characterization, and understanding of the concepts of surface tension and hydrostatics, with oil-water separation as an application. The laboratory experiments are easy to set up based on commercially available tools and materials, which will facilitate implementation of this module in other educational institutions. The significance of oil-water separation in the petroleum industry and integration of concepts from fluid mechanics in the laboratory module will help to illustrate the relevance of nanotechnology to mechanical and materials engineering and its potential to address some of the future societal needs. 
    more » « less
  8. ABSTRACT In this project we have involved four high-achieving pre-university summer placement students in the development of undergraduate teaching materials, namely tutorial videos for first year undergraduate Electrical and Electronic Engineering lab, and computer simulations of didactic semiconductor structures for an Electrical Science first year compulsory taught module. Here we describe our approach and preliminary results. 
    more » « less
  9. ABSTRACT Physics forms the core of any Materials Science Programme at undergraduate level. Knowing the properties of materials is fundamental to developing and designing new materials and new applications for known materials. “Physical Physics” is a physics education approach which is an innovative and promising instruction model that integrates physical activity with mechanics and material properties. It aims to significantly enhance the learning experience and to illustrate how physics works, while allowing students to be active participants and take ownership of the learning process. It has been successfully piloted with undergraduate students studying mechanics on a Games Development Programme. It is a structured guided learning approach which provides a scaffold for learners to develop their problem solving skills. The objective of having applied physics on a programme is to introduce students to the mathematical world. Today students view the world through smart devices. By incorporating student recorded videos into the laboratory experience the student can visualise the mathematical world. Sitting in a classroom learning about material properties does not easily facilitate an understanding of mathematical equations as mapping to a physical reality. In order to get the students motivated and immersed in the real mathematical and physical world, an approach which makes them think about the cause and effect of actions is used. Incorporating physical action with physics enables students to assimilate knowledge and adopt an action problem solving approach to the physics concept. This is an integrated approach that requires synthesis of information from various sources in order to accomplish the task. As a transferable skill, this will ensure that the material scientists will be visionary in their approach to real life problems. 
    more » « less
  10. ABSTRACT Materials science skills and knowledge, as an addition to the traditional curricula for physics and chemistry students, can be highly valuable for transition to graduate study or other career paths in materials science. The chemistry and physics departments at Weber State University (WSU) are harnessing an interdisciplinary approach to materials science undergraduate research. These lecture and laboratory courses, and capstone experiences are, by design, complementary and can be taken independently of one another and avoid unnecessary overlap or repetition. Specifically, we have a senior level materials theory course and a separate materials characterization laboratory course in the physics department, and a new lecture/laboratory course in the chemistry department. The chemistry laboratory experience emphasizes synthesis, while the physics lab course is focused on characterization techniques. Interdisciplinary research projects are available for students in both departments at the introductory or senior level. Using perovskite materials for solar cells, WSU is providing a framework of different perspectives in materials: making materials, the micro- and macrostructure of materials, and the interplay between materials to create working electronic devices. Metal-halide perovskites, a cutting-edge technology in the solar industry, allow WSU to showcase that undergraduate research can be relevant and important. The perovskite materials are made in the chemistry department and characterized in the physics department. The students involved directly organize the collaborative exchange of samples and data, working together to design experiments building ownership over the project and its outcomes. We will discuss the suite of options available to WSU students, how we have designed these curricula and research, as well as some results from students who have gone through the programs. 
    more » « less