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Student Case Study Creation for the Sustainable Side of Material Science

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Materials Science Education for the Future

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Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1095.1 - 23.1095.13



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Paper Authors

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Cindy Waters North Carolina A&T State University


Stephanie Luster-Teasley North Carolina A&T State University

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Dr. Stephanie Luster-Teasley is an associate professor in Civil Engineering and Chemical Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University. She specializes in Environmental Engineering and her research interests include water and wastewater treatment, physical and chemical remediation of soil and groundwater and water sustainability. Her research group has designed remediation system that entails the use of the biodegradable polymers as a mechanism to deliver chemical oxidants to remediate chemical and biological contaminants in wastewater and soil. She conducts educational research where she has creatively works to change educational instruction in laboratory courses by introducing topics in sustainability using case studies. In 2010 she led the NCA&T team that developed the National 4-H Science Youth Day experiment which was used to teach millions of K-8 students about water quality, energy use, and global warming. Her work and research involvement includes over $2,000,000 of research funding. To date she has received a number of teaching and research awards including the 2005 National Women of Color in Technology Educational Leadership Award, 2006 NCA&T Rookie Researcher of the Year, in 2007 she became the first African American female faculty member to achieve patent pending status at A&T for her technology invention, in 2008 she received the NCA&T Junior Teaching Faculty of the Year Award, and in 2010 became a Department of Homeland Security Summer Research Fellow, and most recently in 2011 was named one of the 40 leaders under 40 by the Triad Business Journal.

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Case Studies Creation with a Sustainability Focus in the Material Science CurriculumCase studies have long been used in law and in medical education and are essentially a form ofstorytelling with an educational message. The case is an account of an activity, event or problemthat contains a real or imaginary situation and incorporates the intricacies you may encounter inthe real world. Engineering faculty have begun looking towards these methods as a powerfulpedagogical technique for teaching. Recent NSF funding on a TUES Type 2 is allowing theauthors to create cases with a focus on sustainability. Why sustainability one may ask, “The shiftto more sustainable technologies will mean significantly reducing the amount of energy andmaterials we use in producing our goods and services while decreasing risks to humans and theenvironment” (Bridge to a Sustainable Future, Clinton, White House, 2005). Many of the bestcases are based on contemporary, and often controversial, science problems that studentsencounter in the news; the use of cases in the classroom makes science relevant and researchshows that relevance promotes learning. Constructivism adopts the belief that students learnmost effectively by constructing their own knowledge and refer to learning as conceptual change(Vygotsky,1962; von Glaserfield, 1987, 1995). That being said the present work utilizesundergraduate students working on consultant teams to create the cases as a part of their HonorsContract. XXX University has a system in place for Honors students to gain honors credit forcourses in agreement with the instructor. The National Center for Case Study Teaching inScience at the University at Buffalo is utilized as a primary resource and its purpose is to“promote the development and dissemination of materials and practices for case teaching in thesciences.” The paper will discuss the use of an Honors contract to facilitate creation of casesincluding student reflection of the process, the case focus on material science and finally thepaper will share the cases.

Waters, C., & Luster-Teasley, S. (2013, June), Student Case Study Creation for the Sustainable Side of Material Science Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22480

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