MatEdU Handbook

The Materials Science Educational Handbook handbook is designed to allow teachers to introduce materials science concepts into their current classes through the use of short educational and mostly hand-on modules. It provides introductory, intermediate and advanced level activities appropriate for Middle School, High School and Technical school use in any STEM-focused class. Modules are separated into subject-matter chapters, each being independent of each other. National Science Standards are given for each lesson.

Middle School instructors can utilize all of Ch 1 and the introductory lessons in each of the other chapters, especially Chapters 3 and 4.

High School instructors will find activities in many areas of interest to students in all chapters, with some most appropriate for high school technology classes.

Chapter 1, Introduction to Materials, is all that is needed for a teacher to introduce materials science into a general science or higher level class.  The chapter looks at the materials all around us, their structure and applications in seven introductory lessons (plus 6 additional optional exercises) that can be applied to almost any grade level.

Chapter 2, Metals and Alloys, introduces metal properties, with two introductory modules followed by four more detailed intermediate level lessons appropriate for high school technology and advanced science programs.

Chapter 3, Composite Materials, provides introductory and intermediate activities, with students bring able to actually make composite structures and to test their properties.  More advanced college-level material is also provided as appropriate.

Chapter 4, Polymers and Plastics, provides several introductory activities enabling students to better understand the plastic materials they use every day along with more advanced concepts for more advanced classes.

Chapter 5, Ceramic Materials, investigates ceramic materials properties with activities and lessons related to mechanical behavior as well as optical and electronic applications used every day, with considerations of materials design for maximum performance.

Chapter 6, Engineering Materials and Design, provides an introduction to the processes used in designing and building composite materials as used in many applications from aircraft to kitchen appliances, along with more advanced material for advanced courses.

Please refer to the Handbook Introduction and to the Table of Contents for additional information on the Handbook. All activities are developed by subject matter experts and peer reviewed and vetted for use at appropriate levels of education and technology. Handbook appendices are listed below.

Appendix A:Module correlation with Next Generation Science Standards and Frameworks for K-12 Science Education

Appendix B: Principal Authors, Reviewers and Project Staff

Appendix C:Core Competencies for Technicians Working with Materials

Appendix D:Author Index by Module

This Handbook was developed by the National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education (MatEdU), funded by National Science Foundation grant DUE 1400619 and is provided by NSF DUE Grant 2000347, Online Instructional Resources for Material Science Technology Education.