National Resource Center for Materials
MatEdU Builds Educators’ Capacity to Teach Materials Science
As a National Resource Center, MatEdU promotes the leadership capacity of educators in materials science. It focuses on the current and future needs of manufacturing technicians relative to the materials they use.
To prepare technicians who understand the “science of stuff,” MatEdU develops peer-reviewed modules (59 as of 2015), disseminates labs, and demonstrates pedagogy for teaching about an array of materials and their diverse uses.
Significant materials science resources are available in MatEdU’s digital library; the modules alone had 7,965 page views in 2014-15. In response to educators’ input, MatEdU is creating a digital handbook of instructional materials by topic.
Core Competencies Guide MatEdU Work
MatEdU’s work is guided by the core competencies it created with industry and multiple education sectors in materials science and six related industry sectors or topics. To date the website library includes core competencies in manufacturing, material science, marine, corrosion, guitar building, nanotechnology and additive manufacturing.
For example, MatEdU partnered with the Guitar Building Center at Sinclair Community College, another ATE initiative, to develop a crosswalk of the Guitar Building Institute (GBI) competencies with three job skill sets used by Boeing. This crosswalk will help teachers, students, and industry understand the connections and relevance between the skills gained through the guitar-building curriculum and those required in the workplace.
MatEdU Offers Practical Guidance for New Programs
The Materials in STEM Workshop (M-STEM) is MatEdU’s annual forum for K-20 educators who teach in STEM disciplines to share their effective classroom strategies and labs. Industry participation ensures participants’ awareness of current techniques, equipment, and hiring practices. The workshop’s three-day strand offers a replicable model for teaching new skills through a comprehensive topical approach.
To help colleges develop and build their own manufacturing labs, MatEdU created a Learning Environment Worksheet and Project Timeline Template. This is a pre-planning tool for potential stakeholders to assess needs and possibilities, and to collaborate. In summary, the MatEdU website is a virtual material science library of teaching modules, core competencies, resources and career pathways. Constantly growing, the site is an invaluable resource for educators and industry.