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An Upper Division General Education Course On Materials For Non Engineering Students

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Teaching Materials Sci&Eng to Non-Majors

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.200.1 - 7.200.7



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Paper Authors

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David Bahr

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

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Session 2356


M. Grant Norton, David F. Bahr

School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering Washington State University Pullman WA 99164-2920


To increase the awareness of materials among the general student population at Washington State University (WSU) we developed a new course, MSE 440 Materials: The Foundations of Society and Technology. This course is taught as a Tier III course in the General Education Program and was offered for the first time in Fall 2000, and has now been offered three times. The General Education Program at WSU is an integrated program where students complete a broad program of study in the Arts and Humanities, Social Science, and Sciences. The Tier III courses are only open to students who have completed at least 60 credit hours of course work and their Tier I and Tier II course requirements. The role of Tier III courses is that they provide a high level of discussion and research in a general education area, but do not require pre- requisites in the course area.

In this paper we will describe § The rationale for the development of this course, § The topics that are covered, § The way the course is taught, § Student feedback, and § Plans for the future.

The importance of increasing the knowledge and awareness of all students, as citizens in a society increasingly dependent upon science and technology, to areas of science and engineering is of paramount importance. For more than two decades materials science has been highlighted by federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) as one of the key areas for support in both research and education. The National Research Council has stated that: “Materials have been central to the growth, prosperity, security, and quality of life of humans since the beginning of history”1. Yet the field, and its importance, remains little known, understood, and recognized outside of those in the Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology (SMET) areas. As Martin Green, the 2001 President of the Materials Research

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Bahr, D. (2002, June), An Upper Division General Education Course On Materials For Non Engineering Students Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10850

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