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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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:
Advanced Manufacturing Technologies
Agricultural and Environmental Technologies
Bio and Chemical Technologies
General Advanced Technological Education
Information and Security Technologies
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.
According to the Credit reporting site WalletHub, Washington State’s economy ranked No. 1 in the nation, driven by strong gross domestic product growth, exports, and the percentage of high-tech jobs. Those high tech jobs include careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Of course, that would mean that advanced science fields, such as materials science and additive manufacturing rank high, as well.
Student education and workforce training programs contribute to that job growth and overall career opportunities. So, it comes as no surprise that Edmonds Community College enthusiastically supported the idea of creating a makerspace for students and the community. The makerspace is called The Facility and is housed in Monroe Hall, which is already a well-equipped materials science lab.
The Facility is different than many college makerspaces, however, because it is a hybrid model that allows student use and also invites the community, residents who are not students, to come and use the space at low cost. As you will hear in this short video, David Voetmann, Makerspace Program Manager of The Facility, explains how the process works for joining and participating in the space.
What is a Makerspace?
Briefly, a makerspace is like a woodshop or metal shop or automotive class that many area residents would remember. A place, as Voetmann says, to share tools and innovation. Except instead of only power saws or welders or impact wrenches, you would have 3D printers, laser cutters, or 5-axis CNC machines – computer-controlled milling machines that cut on multiple angles. In addition, Monroe Hall is unique in that it is home to equipment that can make something out of carbon fiber (materials science) via vacuum bagging and an autoclave, not your usual makerspace gear.
Since two of the most popular machines in a makerspace are 3D printers and laser cutters (or laser engravers), it is logical that companies that provide those tools would have good resources.
3D printer manufacturer, Ultimaker, has a number of posts, books, and resources for school teachers, administrators, librarians (public and school), who might be interested to build a makerspace. One is called the Makerspace Bookshelf and the other helpful post is Fablab, makerspace, or hackerspace? –that highlights how to decide which one is right for your situation.
Laura Fleming, an educator and media specialist, has written two excellent, best-selling books (also mentioned on the Ultimaker site). You can find both of them on her website: Worlds of Making. Both of them are about creating a makerspace in your school. They are also available on Amazon. She offers a steady stream of ideas and maker tips on her Twitter account – @LFlemingEDU.
Just as people have begun to understand and use 3D printing, here comes a new technology: Liquid 3D printing from one of the top government labs. With 13 Nobel prizes, 70 scientists who are members of the National Academy of Sciences (one of the highest honors for a scientist in the U.S.), numerous National Medals of Science under their belt, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) knows a bit about how to adapt and tweak materials properties to get what they want.
Recently, the Berkeley Lab has developed a way to print 3D structures composed entirely of liquids (Full details linked at end of post). There are existing 3D printers that can do this, so, naturally, the Berkeley Lab team modified an existing 3D printer to do what they wanted: inject threads of water into silicone oil. This allowed them to sculpt tubes made of one liquid within another liquid. This YouTube video from the team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory elegantly demonstrates and explains how they got it to work.
The Berkeley Lab team believes their all-liquid material could be used to construct liquid electronics that power flexible, stretchable devices. If you have seen the new Samsung flexible, foldable phone screen, you have a rough idea of the concept in action.
According to the official post, “the scientists also foresee chemically tuning the tubes and flowing molecules through them, leading to new ways to separate molecules or precisely deliver nanoscale building blocks to under-construction compounds. The researchers have printed threads of water between 10 microns and 1 millimeter in diameter, and in a variety of spiraling and branching shapes up to several meters in length. What’s more, the material can conform to its surroundings and repeatedly change shape.”
You may also be interested in the upcoming annual M-STEM event that brings together students, faculty, and business to strengthen understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) principles, especially relating to materials science, and to enhance K-20 technology education integration. Read more about M-STEM 2018 on November 5-6, 2018 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.