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Introducing Materials Science And Chemistry To The K 12 Community

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

K-20 Activities in Materials Science

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.779.1 - 8.779.18



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Paper Authors

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William Jordan

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Bill Elmore

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

Session 2164

Introducing Materials Science and Chemistry to the K-12 Community

William Jordan and Bill Elmore College of Engineering and Science Louisiana Tech University Ruston, LA 71272


We live in a high-technology world where many people do not understand the things they are using, let alone the implications of the technology they are using. It is in the engineering community’s best interests to work to improve the technology literacy of society.

The health of science and engineering tomorrow depends on improved mathematics and science preparation and problem solving skills of our students today. It is our belief that part of the problem with K-12 science education is that teachers do not know how to relate the science they are teaching to real world experiences. To deal with that issue, we created a new three-hour course in engineering problem solving specifically designed for education majors. They are shown how to solve real world engineering problems and how to teach such subject matter to their own future students.

Using the theme “Our Material World”, the authors integrated concepts involving the physical, mechanical and chemical behavior of materials as a means to teach engineering problem solving skills. Through the use of frequent laboratory exercises, our goal was to “demystify” for these future teachers some of the fundamental ideas of science and engineering and to heighten their interest and skill level in effectively communicating these ideas to K-12 students.

We have also had direct outreach into the K-12 community. As part of the class, our students have put on workshops for in-service teachers in our region, demonstrating the hands-on science skills that they have learned. This helps make a difference in class rooms of current teachers. Our students make presentations using simple experiments in local fourth-grade science classes. This helped have an impact on current teachers, as they observed what could be done. It also helped to have an impact on elementary school children who now have a very different attitude to materials science and engineering. The first author did a presentation at the state science teacher’s association meeting to introduce more in-service teachers to what we have done.

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition, Copyright 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Jordan, W., & Elmore, B. (2003, June), Introducing Materials Science And Chemistry To The K 12 Community Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11438

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