Posted in | Plastics and Polymers

ASM Takes Materials Education to High and Middle Schools

For five days at Case Western Reserve University, local high school and middle school teachers learned a new way to teach science and mathematics to their students…using ingenuity, creativity and a “lot of GAK,” the super-slimy polymer.

With the support of Swagelok, Alcoa, Case Western Reserve University and ASM International, the ASM Teachers Camp program brought 32 teachers to Case for activities and hands-on learning.

“We hosted 12 teachers from Cleveland Public Schools, including John Hay, East Tech, Lincoln-West, and Glenville High. Suburban schools from Brecksville-Broadview Heights to Wickliffe rounded out the attendees,” said Sunniva Collins, an ASM member, Case alum and senior research fellow at Swagelok.

“We showed our teachers a new way to use materials to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM,” Collins said. “They had fun – and they learned something that they can translate to motivate and encourage their students.”

The Cleveland Camp was the first of five Ohio camps in summer 2008. It was a five-day commuter camp, aimed at teachers local to Northeast Ohio. In addition to instruction in a curriculum aligned with Ohio’s standards, the Camp schedule included field trips, lunch speakers and peer interaction.

ASM Materials Camp for Teachers is a proven program that strengthens the curriculum in STEM at the secondary level. “By introducing teachers to the engineering profession, we will be influencing students for years to come. This is a really important effort as we team up to strengthen secondary STEM education in Northeast Ohio,” Collins said.

“It’s all part of the mission of the ASM Materials Education Foundation,” said ASM Foundation executive director Chuck Hayes. “We’re all about exciting young people in materials, science and engineering careers. It’s all about creating a better trained workforce for Cleveland’s future – one that will support a more technology-based economy – and keep our best students right here at home.”

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