Introducing The AM News ‘Editor’s Corner’ Column

AM News is adding a new section called the Editor’s Corner. This new section will provide a way for us to share a variety of resources, links, projects, and other stories that we come across in our research for this site. TJ McCue, our editor, will begin sharing some personalized posts this week.

TJ here: In my work on various National Science Foundation (NSF) projects, particularly here on TEAMM and AM News, I am constantly researching and reviewing a wide range of topics that matter for technician education, materials science, and additive manufacturing. I am active in the industries that touch our educational efforts having worked as a consultant or contractor for many of the large brands that you know and love.

I have put pen to paper for a number of publications you know as well, from the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, and currently Forbes in their Innovation and Consumer Tech section. I spent almost a full year on the road for a large national project known as 3DRV where I traveled the USA researching and reporting on 3D printing and 3D scanning. All that said, I am passionate about this space and care deeply about how we educate our young people to keep them ready for the future of work.

Every year, there are conferences and events that capture our attention and time. Depending on your specialties, you may visit an event focused on Materials Science, STEM Education, or 3D Printing, to name just a few that are of interest to our readers here. 

TEAMM was part of the annual M-STEM event held last year at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. The event is sponsored by the National Science Foundation as part of an Advanced Technological Education (ATE) with MatEdU, our sister organization at Edmonds Community College. If you have not visited before, MatEdU is a clearinghouse of teaching materials including labs, hands-on demonstrations, modules and papers, which can easily be integrated into a variety of courses, class-room settings, and industry. 

At the M-STEM event, two graduate students presented (and won) an award for their work at Tennessee Tech University building a mobile 3D printer. It can work with a variety of materials from cake frosting (you read that right) to cement to paint. You can check out the YouTube video here. Although they were not present at M-STEM, TEAMM Network Member, Somerset Community College, is doing some amazing 3D printing work as well converting a $450 polymer (FFF) machine into a metal 3D printer.

If you have not visited MatEdU before, it is a clearinghouse of teaching materials including labs, hands-on demonstrations, modules and papers, which can easily be integrated into a variety of courses, class-room settings, and industry. 

An event to mark on your calendars for April 20 – 23, 2020 is probably one of the best-known conferences for 3D (celebrating its 30th Year): RAPID + TCT, the largest 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing event in North America (scroll down on that page to find student and educator discounts).

I’ll be attending this year’s RAPID+TCT event in Anaheim, California and will be reporting back to you on some of the developments for education, as well as advances in Medical Additive Manufacturing (AM), and new AM Startups (this section is not published yet) shaking up the already fast-moving world of 3D printing. Plus, there is a Student Summit

One of the goals of this new section is to give a shout out to various organizations, colleges and universities, companies, and other resources that can help you in your work with students and the public at large. Some weeks, it might be a long list; other weeks I might only have one item to share with you. 

This week I wanted to draw your attention to an affordable, do-it-yourself type microscope known as the Foldscope. According to the website, Foldscope was “invented by Manu Prakash and Jim Cybulski who asked themselves: What is the best microscope you can build for under $1 in parts?

Image Courtesy: Foldscope.com

“Their inspiration for the Foldscope originated from field visits around the world, where they continually encountered bulky, broken microscopes, or a lack of microscopes entirely. As traditional microscopes are often expensive or cumbersome, they realized the universal scale of this problem and the need for a low-cost, revolutionary solution.”

At the end of 2019, one million Foldscopes were found in the wild helping children and adults become citizen scientists.

May your weekend be filled with all the good materials.

NOTE: The Foldscope is made up of common, easy to get and affordable materials, however on their website a deluxe microscope sells for around $30 for one unit. I presume this is partly to fund other parts of the initiative. They sell a classroom kit of $20 that works out to a bit over $1.75 per unit. Still a deal.

An earlier version of this post was published at Medium

Materiom Is Serving As Nature’s Recipe Book For STEM Educators

If you are an educator, a maker, a biohacker, or a curious student, who is often trying to come up with recipes for #natural #materials to test out in your classroom, workshop, or lab, this Materiom site is for you. Their Materials Library is filled with “recipes” for materials you might throw away as compost-worthy, but that can be used in a variety of student projects.

Materiom Materials Library Search Tool
Materiom Materials Library Search Tool

Here are a few recipes you will find and the image above gives some ideas as to what you will find on the site. 

  • -Eggshell biocomposite
  • -Sawdust / agar
  • -Chitosan 12% – Stiff behaviour
  • -Sodium Bicarbonate / Cornstarch
  • -Green tea
  • -Kombucha fabric
  • -Agar bioplastic (heated)
  • -Coffee grounds (used)

According to their home page, “Materiom provides open data on how to make materials that nourish local economies and ecologies. We support companies, cities, and communities in creating and selecting materials sourced from locally abundant biomass that are part of a regenerative circular economy.”

Users can customize and finely tune their materials recipes for their long list of over 50 different  materials (or variations of some materials). Search their Materials Database here.

If you are anything like the team at TTU that invented the paste-based 3D printer known as the TechBot, (patent-pending) then you might be able to use one of these novel, DIY pastes found on Materiom. Both these recipes were created by Marita Sauerwein and E.L.Doubrovski. Check out the Mussel shell | alginate MS01 recipe as well as the similar Mussel shell – sucrose composite. The recipes are on a Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0 license, but be warned, they are rated 5 out of 5-stars for difficulty.

This post idea originated on the Materials Education Facebook page (via our sister organization MatEdU).

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.