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An Undergraduate Materials Recruitment And Outreach Program

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Creating 'Materials' Awareness

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

12.233.1 - 12.233.21



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Paper Authors


Lawrence Genalo Iowa State University

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is Professor and Assistant Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Iowa State University. He received a Ph. D. in Applied Mathematics with Systems Engineering emphasis in 1977, served as Chair for Freshman Programs and DELOS Divisions, and runs the Toying With TechnologySM Program at Iowa State and the recruitment program in the Materials Science and Engineering Department.

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Scott Chumbley Iowa State University

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Scott Chumbley is a Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Iowa State University (ISU) and a Scientist at Ames Laboratory, the Department of Energy national laboratory located on the ISU campus. His expertise is in the field of electron microscopy. He has taught the undergraduate Materials Characterization class and graduate level classes on electron microscopy.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

An Undergraduate Materials Recruitment and Outreach Program

Abstract An aggressive recruitment strategy, building on previous efforts, began in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Iowa State University in the late 1990s. Since then the population of undergraduate majors has doubled, as has the percentage of women students, and the average achievement of incoming freshmen (as measured by ACT or SAT scores, high school rank, numbers in the Honors Program, etc.) has also increased dramatically. This recruitment program has its costs; most notably in faculty and staff time. Its cornerstone is a one hour demonstration/presentation (see Appendix for complete listing of demonstrations) that incorporates audience interaction and relates materials properties to real world events (Challenger and Columbia Shuttles, the Titanic, etc.). This presentation is often featured in university and college recruitment events on campus and has been “performed” at K-12 schools and community college events around the state. It has also been given at a distance with the help of the Engineering Distance Education staff. While this is the cornerstone of the recruitment program, it by no means is the only piece. There are numerous efforts integrated in this plan including an innovative, educational, web-based scanning electron microscope that has been used across the globe.

This paper will describe the presentation and the supplies needed for it. The paper will also detail the extensive outreach program in the department that has grown during this same period. A scanning electron microscope featuring web access for K-12 partners is a unique feature of this program. K-12 teachers are given training on the use of the microscope and then create lessons that they use in their classrooms with the help of this remote hook-up to the WebSEM. The excellent core of highly involved undergraduate students who have been recruited now form an integral part of the outreach and recruitment efforts. The student Materials Advantage organization has been named outstanding chapter in the country the past three years.

Need The need for more engineers in the United States, including materials engineers, has been well documented in recent years. “Rising Above The Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future,”1 a publication from the National Academies, states that “Last year more than 600,000 engineers graduated from institutions of higher education in China. In India, the figure was 350,000. In America, it was about 70,000.” The report proposes scholarships to put 25,000 more science and engineering majors into the pipeline each year. Despite a growing, critical need for engineers, "the number of bachelor's degrees awarded in engineering began declining in 1987 and has continued to stay at about the same level through much of the 1990s. The total number of graduates from engineering programs is not expected to increase significantly over the projection period (2000-2010).”2 In the year 2000 an estimated 400,000 engineering jobs were unfilled; projections indicate that number will grow to 1.75 million by 2008.3

Genalo, L., & Chumbley, S. (2007, June), An Undergraduate Materials Recruitment And Outreach Program Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--3072

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