National Science Foundation
Materials Mini-Camp for Teachers
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Lead Teacher Len Booth guides teachers through hands-on activities they can bring back to their classrooms.

Credit: Princeton MRSEC
Permission Granted
State: New Jersey


The National Science Foundation-funded Princeton Center for Complex Materials (PCCM) is helping to pave the way for materials science to be taught in high schools.   In a partnership with Rutgers University and the American Society for Metals, PCCM conducted New Jersey’s first annual Materials Mini-Camp in the summer of 2005. Thirty teachers came to work hands-on with metals, ceramics, polymers and composites and developed a greater appreciation for the importance of materials science in modern life. PCCM faculty George Scherer, Richard Register, Giacinto Scoles, Craig Arnold, and Shivaji Sondhi shared their discoveries in materials science with the teachers at the camp. Materials science topics included condensed matter physics, modern DNA testing, the latest in polymer research, and art and architecture preservation including a tour of Princeton University’s architecture preservation efforts.  Teachers made their own polymer foam creations, studied nylon, and cast a rubber mold with room-temperature vulcanizable compounds. They characterized everyday composite materials such as concrete and automobile tires. The course is designed to give the teachers training to develop and teach a materials science course in their own schools or to merge materials science with their existing physics and chemistry classes.

Partners: Rutgers University, American Society for Metals

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Professor George Scherer shares his materials science expertise, applied to art and monument conservation, “in the field” on Princeton University campus.

Credit: Princeton MRSEC
Permission Granted

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