Interested In STEM? Social Media Paths Into Materials Science, STEM, 3D Printing

Social media provides a terrific way for students to keep up with their peers and academic concepts as they progress in their chosen degree and field. It also gives educators the means to engage at deeper levels with students, but also to simply see what others are doing and how that might impact teaching and mentoring.

There are so many groups, pages and messaging opportunities within Facebook, LinkedIn Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and informal groups within ad hoc group messaging or via a Slack Channel, the increasingly popular collaboration hub. There is no shortage of social outlets where you can advance your knowledge of your chosen career or interest area.

The TEAMM Network works to keep up with its member’s activities on social media. Many of the educators and institutions within the TEAMM Network are deeply involved with finding ways to share their expertise in STEM fields. Here are a few:

♦ Our sister organization, The National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education (MatEdU) is a NSF funded center housed at Edmonds Community College, recently created a new Facebook page curating the latest Materials Science innovations.

♦ TEAMM Network member, Dr. Ismail Fidan at Tennessee Technological University, started a LinkedIn Group called STEM ER[Educators & Researchers] that is filled with well over 36,000 members, many are quite active. “’STEM Educators & Researchers’ group links the research and education professionals in ‘Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics’ fields.”

♦ 500-plus educators connect on the 3D Printers in the Classroom Facebook group and it is worth a visit for creative ideas and to learn how others integrate 3D (and materials) into their classrooms. On a more international basis, 3D Printing Industry runs an active and popular Facebook page for keeping up with the latest news and tech reviews.

This short video showcases just a few recent posts highlighting how the sharing of information can be a good thing to keep you “in the know.” If you are actively running a social media group or page of some type on materials science, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, please email us with a link and some details.

Additional Resources: Here are three excellent blog posts on how educators are integrating social media (or not) into their classrooms.

  1. What Do Statistics Reveal About Educators and Social Media? (this post was highlighted in the short video in this post.)
  2. Social Media Classroom Use & Statistics
  3. Some Interesting Statistics & Facts on Social Media in Education You Must Know

International Day Of Women And Girls In Science

Last week marked the fourth annual International Day of Women and Girls in Science. In 2015, the United Nations established a resolution to acknowledge and celebrate the achievement of women in the sciences. The resolution also has the additional goal of encouraging the next generation of young women to pursue and solve new scientific challenges.

Screenshot of UNESCO Intl Day of Women Girls in STEM website
Screenshot of UNESCO Intl Day of Women Girls in STEM website

There are many worldwide and US-based initiatives designed to create gender equality in the sciences (as well as in all STEM fields). The United Nations estimates that “less than 30% of researchers worldwide are women.” The celebration is jointly coordinated between the UN-Women and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in collaboration with many institutional and civil organization partners.

Within the Additive Manufacturing and Materials Science disciplines, there are many female students entering these fields. In the US, many programs have been actively working to increase their female student enrollment in STEM degree programs. (I still need to confirm some examples, rewrite). We reached out to a couple of young women about their decisions to enter a STEM career.

At the University of Louisville, Kate Schneidau, a Mechanical Engineering Student and Engineering Co-op/Intern at RPC and AMCC, shared how she decided on a career in additive manufacturing:

“I grew up surrounded by STEM. I am a 3rd generation engineer and have known since I was young that this is the career path I wanted to take. My interest in additive manufacturing (AM) came after an opportunity arose for a cooperative intern position at the Rapid Prototyping Center (RPC) at the University of Louisville. Through my work there and now at the Additive Manufacturing Competency Center I have found a passion for AM. I am excited to work in collaboration with other engineers to engage in discussion on how to implement and expand the knowledge base of AM. As a senior engineering student looking at full-time positions I am only looking at positions that allow me to engage directly with AM in industry and expand upon my knowledge.”

Ashley Totin is a project engineer at America Makes and she shared a bit of her additive manufacturing and education journey with us.

“I always loved making and building things, but it wasn’t until my sophomore year in high school that “Engineering” was introduced to me. I loved science and math, and my high school teacher pulled me aside after class one day and asked if I ever looked into engineering. At that point in my life, I didn’t know much about engineering and thought that it was a dirty job that only men did. I discovered this was not the case, as there were a vast number of engineering fields. I decided to go into industrial and systems engineering and never looked back. I fell in love with manufacturing, the concept that everything we touch and see on a daily basis has been through a manufacturing facility. This then led me to discover additive manufacturing and America Makes, the national additive manufacturing innovation institute located in Youngstown, Ohio a short distance from the college I was attending. I instantly developed a passion towards this technology which led to teaching students and teachers about the technology, conducting a master’s thesis focused on AM and going on to have a career in AM. The possibilities for the younger generation are endless. These new technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution provide a cleaner manufacturing environment and an exciting future.”

The fourth annual International Day of Women and Girls in Science is an important, but growing part of the overall effort taking place worldwide to close the gap around improving recruitment, retention, and promotion of women in STEM fields. Many TEAMM Collaboration Network partners support this significant work.

You can learn more at the UN Women and UNESCO pages, here and here.

Advanced Materials and 3D Printing at World Economic Forum

Davos.

Each year, thousands of people gather at Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum (WEF). With a theme that impacts our AM News readers this year (and beyond), Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we wanted to encourage you to look at two priority areas for WEF: advanced materials and 3D printing.

We compiled and shared this short overview video on our Materials Education Facebook page (come visit, like our page, and learn more about materials science):

The World Economic Forum is looking at the large, global picture of society and business. But their research initiatives are well-funded and reveal many details that can help you in your educational endeavors, both for teachers and students. We encourage you to dig in on their Advanced Materials page as well as the one on 3D Printing. We will continue to share insights and new findings here as we uncover them.

According to the WEF site, “Participants drawn from all over the world and from every sphere of influence: business, government, civil society, academia, arts and culture, and media… Leaders and luminaries including Sir David Attenborough, Shinzo Abe, Angela Merkel, Prince William, and Jacinda Ardern will gather in Davos for the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2019.”

Although the 2019 event is now done, the WEF continues to work on a variety of important issues, from the above-linked Materials work to other important topics aimed at building a better global future.

NOTE: Of course, you can also find many news updates and resources on the pages of the TEAMM website and in our regular AM News posts, particularly this one on 3D Printing training for teachers via the TTU AM-WATCH program

Upcoming Materials In Stem (M-STEM) Workshop At University Of Alabama at Birmingham

Rockets and toothpicks do not seem to be related, but at this year’s upcoming M-STEM Workshop, hosted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, STEM educators will find out how each one of these topics, plus many others, can help educators share how materials science can weave into every aspect of learning.

Over three decades, Materials in STEM (M-STEM), has served as a resource and aid to educators looking to add new ideas, hands-on projects and experiments, demonstrations and keynotes from professionals and other educators. During this two day, intensive workshop, on November 5 and 6, 2018, participants will gather to interact and connect with a wide range of experts. Three of the most popular past sessions will return for the 2018 event:

  • The Toothpick Factory
  • Teachers with Torches
  • Engineering Rockets

Each session is packed with ideas educators can take directly back to their classrooms and put into action to help students fall in love with STEM topics.

  • Motivating the Unmotivated Learner with STEM
  • Designing Features for Datums (related to 3D printing parts and projects)
  • Damping and Insulative Properties of Natural Fiber Composites
  • Practical Polymers
  • Nano Materials, Light and Water

The program is ideal for secondary and post-secondary faculty. In addition to the keynotes and sessions, there will be a Student Posters exhibit highlighting UAB student work in materials.

M-STEM is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under a larger grant project known as the The National Resource Center for Materials Science Technology Education (MatEdU) based at Edmonds Community College in Washington State.

Register for the M-STEM Workshop here

This year’s event is held at the UAB Hill Student Center (picture above). You can check out the building map here or move around in the 3D photos on Google Maps to look at more photos of the Hill Student Center and the UAB surrounding campus.

Here are a couple of area attractions that participants might find interesting as well:

  • The Civil Rights Tour – Birmingham is one of the most influential locations of the Civil Rights Movement and a visitor could easily fill several days touring important sites.
  • Vulcan Park and Museum with the world’s largest cast iron statue

 

Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Celebrates 25 Years

The 25th Anniversary of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program is a reason to celebrate in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education circles.

For 25 years, the ATE program has invested in and grown technician education opportunities around the nation to prepare a “STEM-capable workforce.” That includes many different types of classes, modules, and certificate programs, in addition to traditional two-year degree programs that are already a strong part of the community college system.

Here are just a few of the statistics:

  • $1.1 Billion is the total NSF ATE Investment to date
  • 715 organizations have received ATE funding
  • 61 ATE Centers and 1,294 Projects have been funded by ATE
  • In FY2017, $66 Million Went To 300-plus Active Grants

All of these efforts focus on technician education, across the USA, to help students graduate, but also to help high tech employers in the workforce. Many of the programs highlighted in the annual report called “Impacts” are part of the TEAMM network, which is the sponsor of AM News. Throughout this coming 2018-2019 academic year, we are going to highlight the network member programs as found in Impacts and through direct interviews, when possible.

ATE Impacts explores and reports on seven major categories:

  1. Advanced Manufacturing Technologies
  2. Agricultural and Environmental Technologies
  3. Bio and Chemical Technologies
  4. Engineering Technologies
  5. General Advanced Technological Education
  6. Information and Security Technologies
  7. Micro and Nanotechnologies

Today we will look at one featured Project and one ATE Center:

Featured Project: AM-WATCH (Additive Manufacturing – Workforce Advancement Training Coalition and Hub)

According to Impacts:  “AM-WATCH provides opportunities for secondary school and two-year college students and educators to learn additive manufacturing technologies. More than 700 students were impacted positively by the project from fall 2017 to spring 2018.” It plans to add more locations to its existing 25 learning sites in Tennessee and Washington.

In a recent Train-the-Trainer Studio, educators were taught how to build 3-D printers to help them prepare technicians for additive manufacturing careers.  Results found that educators:

  • 77% increased their ability to design a system, component, or process
  • 80% increased their technical and nontechnical communication skills
  • Educators report AM-WATCH’s Train-the-Trainer Studios improved their performance on specific ABET accreditation skill sets

ATE Center: MatEdU – National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education

MatEdU is well-known as a materials technology education repository for educators and students. It appears in the number one spot for search engine results for a wide variety of materials science terms and directs students and educators to useful resources.

Students can learn about a variety of career pathways in materials science. Educators can find content that helps them plan a variety of lessons, entire courses as well as core competencies documents outlining required depth of proficiency for a range of related subjects, such as, manufacturing technology, corrosion technician, nanotechnologist, and more. Instructional resources include course designs, materials videos, and recommended book lists, to name just a few items from the Instructional Resources page.

Each year, MatEdU organizes a Materials in STEM conference (two days) known as M-STEM that attracts educators and students around the country. This year is hosted by the University of Alabama – Birmingham on November 5 and 6.

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You can read more about all of the ATE Centers and many of the featured projects by visiting ATE Impacts where you can download the digital edition (PDF) of ATE Impacts 2018-2019.