MatEdU Builds Collaborative Internship Model Around Materials Science Skills

AM News regularly seeks stories on projects and programs that help additive manufacturing and materials technicians stay competitive in a rapidly changing job market. The need for well-qualified technicians is a challenge for many industries. As a National Science Foundation grant, The National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education (MatEdU) is hard at work to bring materials technology education and resources to the nation. 

MatEdU is a TEAMM Collaboration member and earlier this year published a case study on a successful internship collaboration project between academia and industry. This project provides a range of real-life learning experiences that benefit the student and gives educational institutions ways to provide skilled technicians needed by industry. 

Development of Collaborative Internship Model and Partnership with Boeing

Here are some of the issues identified by MatEdU as pressing challenges in the field of materials science technology:

  • The current workforce needs advanced skills to develop new products and infuse legacy products with advanced manufacturing practices using cutting edge materials and technologies and advanced industrial processes;
  • The current aging workforce is retiring at a time when the number of technical jobs is increasing;
  • New workers must be attracted and must develop skills to flexibly meet continuously evolving manufacturing industry demand.

In order to start working on these challenges, MatEdU, Edmonds Community College, and The Boeing Company together proactively developed a Collaborative Internship Model as a strategy for addressing the need for skilled technicians in the aerospace workforce. Research by The Boeing Company looked at the following kinds of needs assessment questions:

 

  • How many engineers, scientists, and technicians do we need in our foreseeable future?
  • What skills and knowledge will they need?
  • How do we attract the next generation technical workforce that possesses a much broader multi-disciplinary and systems engineering perspective?
  • How should we enhance our technical educational system?
  • How do we attract and retain a student population reflecting the demographics of our diverse society?

 

 

 

After identifying core challenges from the research findings, a pilot program was designed and developed in collaboration with academic (MatEdU and Edmonds Community College, Lynnwood, WA; Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA) and industrial partners (The Boeing Company, and Boeing’s Materials and Process Technologies division, Seattle, WA) and implemented with a two-year community college in the professional technical division. 

Known as the Educational Experiential Learning Exposure Internship (EELEI) , the program was targeted at closing the technician workforce gap. With the increasing use of advanced composite materials in the design, testing, and repair of products like the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing has a constant need for qualified and experienced materials science technicians to replace a specific segment of its aging technical workforce. The Collaborative Internship Model supports and complements the Materials Science Technology (MST) program, a 2-year Associate of Applied Science-Transfer degree focused on materials science technology at Edmonds Community College.

Since 2008 approximately 74 students have successfully completed the internship program. About 45 interns have been hired full time. About 10 interns have gone on to a 4 -year institution – five of those are still with Boeing. Prior to 2015 most of the interns worked part time by having their summer internships extended until graduation. 

If you want to check out a number of the MatEdU Resources, then visit this specific Instructional Resources page where you will find a number of categories. To find this paper, scroll down to the last section: Papers & Publications and then “MatEdU Collaborative Internship: a Case Study of our collaborative internship model for education and industry” is listed there.

Or simply download it directly here (depending on your web browser and settings, the file may automatically download or your computer may ask you if you want to download it). 

Learn How To Integrate Materials Into Your STEM Classroom At M-STEM 2019

The 2019 M-STEM event in Golden, Colorado this November 4 and 5 promises to be one you don’t want to miss. If you have not heard about M-STEM, it is an annual workshop held to explore the world of materials as they are often used within STEM education circles.

“M-STEM, sponsored by the National Science Foundation as part of an Advanced Technological Education (ATE) with MatEdU, provides hands-on sessions that bring together students, faculty, industry and business to strengthen understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) principles, especially relating to advancing materials science, and to enhancing a K-20 technology education integration. A unique feature of M-STEM is hands-on, interactive learning which presents information in a way that engages students and teachers.” — M-STEM website

Here’s a list of the workshop sessions:

        • Corrosion of Metals…more fun than rocket science!
        • Designing Foods with Sugar
        • Helping Girls choose STEM Careers
        • Critical Materials Institute (CMI) Toolkit
        • Making Superheroes Come to Life
        • Copper Mining and Environmental Recovery
        • Glassblowing
        • Materials Classroom Labs
        • Nano’s Role in Water Treatment & Filtration
        • Bridges & Stress-Strain Curves
        • Integration of Workplace Competencies
        • HydroPrinting

Each year, M-STEM is hosted at some amazing schools and locations. This year is a special one because the Colorado School of Mines is well known for its intense focus on materials.

Mines, as it is commonly called, is regularly on lists of top schools in the USA. In a recent news release, College Factual, released its annual list of the nation’s top engineering schools this week, with Colorado School of Mines again taking the #1 top spot on a list of the “Best Engineering Colleges Nationwide.”

In addition, M-STEM is partnering with three others to make this year a must-attend event: 

The second day of the M-STEM event is known as the Tuesday Intensives where participants get to take a deep dive into specific topics. ASM International, formerly known as the American Society for Metals, is sending two teachers to present on day one and give one of the Tuesday Intensive sessions.

Learn more about M-STEM 2019 and sign up to attend this year.

STEM Guitar Project Engages Teachers And Students

The Guitar Building Institute, also known as the STEM Guitar project, is regularly mentioned here on AM News because they continue to move STEM forward in exciting ways. Sinclair Community College Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology, Tom Singer, and his team are busy around the USA teaching educators about using guitar building to teach STEM to middle and high school students.

You can read more about their special events for U.S. Military veterans in our 2018 post: Guitar Building For Veterans In Puget Sound.

The STEM Guitar project was first awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant in 2008 and its first classes started in 2009. As they celebrate their first full decade in operation, more than 800 STEM educators have participated in the five day workshops held all around the USA.

According to a recent post in the SME “Humans of Manufacturing” series, in which Tom Singer was profiled, “Students across the country have designed and manufactured 10,000 guitars. STEM teachers from 40 states have either gone through a Guitar Building Institute course or have purchased guitar kits. At Sinclair, the college produces about 1,200 guitar kits a year, making it a mid-tier guitar manufacturer within the industry.”

As an active partner of the TEAMM coordination network, whose mission is to bring together a wide variety of public and private sector stakeholders (for technician education) and improve access to professional development, the STEM Guitar project aligns with and helps TEAMM to fulfill its mission. STEM Guitar, with its team of 22 faculty around the U.S., coordinates faculty training and other non-profit skill building events related to STEM, Guitars, and materials.

While it is recommended and worthwhile to attend the official STEM Guitar workshop, (the staff here at AM News has participated in and documented several of the workshops), the project website at GuitarBuilding.org is loaded with information for educators and individuals, including the complete curriculum. Joining the live workshop gives participants an opportunity to build their own guitar and learn first-hand what is needed to replicate these lessons in the classroom (hint: you need a workshop, benches, tools). The curriculum and project based learning aligns with industry soft and hard skill sets and is crosswalked to K-12 standards

If you click through to the Video area of the site, you will find details on one of the techniques that the STEM Guitar team has perfected: How To Swirl Dip Your Guitar. The “Swirl dipping guitars from down under” link leads you to a YouTube video that gives you a unique view of the process — in the barrel of water looking up into the paint. Plus, you can see some of the amazing guitar finishing (lots of Swirl Paint jobs) results from photographer James Huntington Schuelke’s Flickr profile.

Here is the direct link to the YouTube Swirl Dip Your Guitar video.

TEAMM is always excited to see the progress and success of its members, but it is tough for any organization to match the energy and enthusiasm found in training other educators and middle/high school students. If you need to spark excitement for STEM learning, head over to Tom Singer and his team at STEM Guitar for ideas and inspiration.

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.