Materials In Stem November Workshop in Virginia

For over 30 years, M-STEM, also known as The Materials in STEM Workshop, has been bringing together students, faculty, and industry to show how materials science serves as a way to explore and understand STEM education methods.

Next month, at Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, Virginia, M-STEM will share a wide range of hands-on experiments, demonstrations, in addition to keynotes from a NASA scientist and the founder of a successful STEM guitar building program, during its two day professional development workshop on November 6 and 7, 2017.

If you have attended other workshops where the program is mostly presenters talking at you, M-STEM promises that the hands-on sessions are not your average program. Here are a few of the unique sessions meant to jumpstart your STEM classes back home:

  • The Toothpick Factory
  • Teachers with Torches
  • Engineering Water Rockets

Sponsored by The National Resource Center for Materials Science Technology Education (MatEdU), Thomas Nelson Community College and Edmonds Community College, M-STEM strives to help faculty to create ways to engage students so that they understand Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) principles, especially relating to materials science. The program is ideal for secondary and post secondary faculty.

Intensives are a unique opportunity to accomplish a new skill through a more comprehensive full-day training format.  Pick one intensive and stay with it throughout the day:

  • Solids: The Science of Stuff
  • Additive Manufacturing (aka 3D Printing)
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems

You can register here on the website.

Sponsors:  MatEdU National Resource Center, Thomas Nelson Community College, Nano-Link Center for Nanotechnology Education, Critical Materials Institute, Virginia Space Grant Consortium, Edmonds Community College, NSF, GeoTEd-UAS, and SpaceTEC.

LIFT Is Leading The Nation In Lightweight Technology

Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow, or LIFT, is a Detroit-based, public-private partnership committed to the development and deployment of advanced lightweight metal manufacturing technologies.

This post is both an event announcement and an update on what LIFT is doing to improve and inspire STEM education. At the upcoming Manufacturing Day 2017, Friday, October 6, LIFT and IACMI – The Composites Institute will unveil a state-of-the-art Lightweighting research and development laboratory in Detroit’s historic Corktown neighborhood.

The $50 million facility will bring together two Manufacturing USA institutes focusing on cutting edge lightweighting applied research and development in metals and composite materials. This facility will bring together advance manufacturing experts from around the country to conduct innovative research and advanced lightweight manufacturing. More info on the event at the end of this post.

LIFT is driven by implementing education and training initiatives to better prepare the workforce today and in the future. LIFT is one of the founding institutes of Manufacturing USA, and is funded in part by the Department of Defense with management through the Office of Naval Research. LIFT is also part of The National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education (MatEdU), headquartered at Edmonds Community College (home of TEAMM AM News). You can learn more about their lightweighting technology work on the LIFT YouTube channel.

See the full story about Finley in the link at end of post.

Earlier this year, LIFT, along with Tennessee Tech University iCube, the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network, the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers and the Foundation for Kentucky Industry announced the winning schools of the 2016-2017 MakerMinded competition. Eight schools in Tennessee and Kentucky were recognized for excellence in advanced manufacturing and STEM learning through their participation in MakerMinded, a new online STEM learning and competition platform.

MakerMinded was launched at the start of the 2016 school year to impassion students about advanced manufacturing and provide them with transformational learning experiences that set them on track towards 21st century manufacturing careers. The platform provides access to a diverse range of national and local STEM and advanced manufacturing programs, including manufacturing facility tours, gaming activities, project-based learning, and competitions.

Tennessee schools were awarded in May at the Tennessee STEM Innovation Summit in Murfreesboro:

  • STEM School Chattanooga – Hamilton County Department of Ed (Chattanooga, TN)
  • Heritage High School – Blount County Schools (Maryville, TN)
  • Cookeville High School – Putnam County School District (Cookeville, TN)
  • White Station Middle School – Shelby County Schools (Memphis, TN)
  • Rose Park Middle School – Metro Nashville Public Schools (Nashville, TN)
  • Maxine Smith STEAM Academy – Shelby County Schools (Memphis, TN)

Kentucky Schools celebrated at a special ceremony at the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers Innovation Summit on June 1, 2017.

  • Trigg County High School—Trigg County Public Schools (Cadiz, KY)
  • Turkey Foot Middle School—Kenton County Schools (Edgewood, KY)

* * * * *

The 2017-2018 MakerMinded competition began in August in Kentucky and Tennessee. In addition, a partnership with Battelle and the Ohio STEM Learning Network, enabled LIFT to launch MakerMinded in Ohio at the same time. You can learn more about it here at

RSVP to join the Manufacturing Day 2017 Open House for the new LIFT and IACMI facility here.

Learn more about Finley the Fabricator — the contest to create a new mascot for the LIFT MakerMinded STEM initiative. Collin Garrison is the young man who built a mascot model from old car parts.

VR Lab at The FACILITY Makerspace at Edmonds Community College

Edmonds Community College is known for its work in training technicians in additive manufacturing and materials science. Now they are adding a project to an existing on-campus makerspace that will expand its value to students and the community: A Virtual Reality (VR) Lab.

Many colleges and universities around the nation and the world have makerspaces, but most are available only to students. Edmonds Community College takes a wider view and started THE FACILITY as a community-based makerspace in addition to student access.

According to the website: “The FACILITY is housed in Monroe Hall, (an 11,000 square foot building with state-of-the-art equipment) to the local community and provides a collaborative space where ordinary people with extraordinary ideas can come together and gain access to the tools, training, and community you need to turn your thoughts into things.

“The FACILITY is based on a DIY philosophy and the launch of our Rapid Proto Lab gives you hands on access to the most essential, exciting, and versatile Makerspace equipment: a Laser Cutter, 3D Printers, a CNC Router, and 3D Scanners. This is a game changing opportunity for Makers of all kinds: artists, inventors, entrepreneurs, students, educators, hobbyists, side-giggers, and world changers.”

Now, thanks to collaboration in another National Science Foundation grant (the college is already known for its national Materials Science education website known as MatEdU), and in partnership with Purdue University, “the college is working on developing an innovative multi-modal VR framework for Digital Manufacturing instruction. One of the priorities is to establish a VR Immersion Lab that can provide design and development opportunities to the local community, and collaboration with other makerspaces, as part of The FACILITY,” David Voetmann, director of The FACILITY, said.

Stay tuned for more immersive experiences and news.

3D Printing and Materials Skills In Demand

Over the last couple of months, we have been studying the job market to see if 3D printing skills were in demand. As you would have guessed, they are in high demand. In fact, most experts agree we have a shortage of skilled workers in additive manufacturing.

According to the World Economic Forum, the organization sees both positive and negative in 3D/AM employment trends for 2015-2020. WEF notes an overall negative number (-3.6%) in manufacturing job growth, but for architecture and engineering, however, they show 3.3 percent growth.

Based on the TEAMM network goal of helping technicians understand material properties both individually and as they are combined during the AM process, we wanted to look at what the job marketplace was looking for. Here are a few simple nationwide findings that show promise (as of this April 24, 2017 posting):


  • 587 jobs with 3D Printing in description or title. Most of them posted in the last month.
  • 298 LinkedIn jobs with Additive Manufacturing in description or title.
  • 1,567 LinkedIn jobs with Materials Science in description or title. 

  • 600 Jobs with Additive Manufacturing in title or description
  • 918 Jobs with 3D Printing in title or description
  • 1,000+ Jobs with Materials Science in title or description

  • 912 Jobs with Additive Manufacturing in title or description
  • 1,067 Jobs with 3D Printing in title or description
  • 2,440 Jobs with Materials Science in title or description

In his post, 3D Printing Skills Is Accelerating Globally Forbes contributor Louis Columbus showed that the number of job advertisements calling for 3D printing skills increased 1,834% between August 2010 and August 2014, with industrial engineers, mechanical engineers, software developers, and industrial designers among the most sought-after professionals. It increased 103% when comparing August 2014 to August 2013.

Based on his post, and to broaden the perspective beyond traditional 9 to 5 jobs, there is also a growing need and interest in project-based or freelance, on-demand work opportunities for those who earn and rent out time on their 3D printers.

In April 2017, we turned to the 3D Hubs platform for that data:

  • 781,498 parts printed
  • 48 hours avg. turnaround time
  • 6,938 services listed online (totaling over 30,000 printers in use on the worldwide network)

The freelancer platform Upwork has over 200 open 3D Printing Projects listed

CAD Crowd has 300+ 3D printing freelance experts and provides a global map of their locations. There are over 14,000 designers from around the world listed on this site. Important to note: These are freelancers, not job listings. However, given the increasing growth in contract work, this is a significant trend to track.

Overall, there is solid growth within the type of education and training that TEAMM Network members offer to their respective communities. As our members could have probably told the “experts” – there is a huge need for skilled technical workers in additive manufacturing and materials science.

University of Washington Hosts Functional Materials and AM Symposium

Materials science is on the move at many universities and colleges across the nation. The University of Washington created the Advanced Materials & Additive Manufacturing (AM) Initiative and held their inaugural 3D Printing Symposium last March (2016) as a one day event.

Last year’s event had over 100 attendees with 28 percent industry and 72 percent UW students, faculty or alumni. They plan to continue the event this year, but expand it to a 2-day event this June 22 – 23, 2017.

The Additive Manufacturing and Functional Materials Symposium will bring together an international audience to discuss the cutting edge of additive manufacturing (AM) technologies. It will focus on the interface between AM and functional polymeric materials.
Confirmed speakers include:

  • Annalisa Chioppone (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia)
  • Michael Dickey (NC State)
  • Igor Drstvenšek (University of Maribor)
  • Howon Lee (Rutgers)
  • Michael McAlpine (UMN)
  • Alshakim Nelson (UW-Seattle)
  • Eujin Pei (Brunel University London)
  • Kristina Shea (ETH Zurich)
  • Scott Phillips (Penn State University)

Registration is $50 for regular admission; $25 for students.
More details will be posted here.

In addition to the materials-focused event, under the same Advanced Materials & Additive Manufacturing Initiative, the University also held a Printed Electronics Summit earlier this month. You can read about it here.