Schools and outreach

Demand for Materials graduates outstrips the current supply, and it is therefore important that we try and encourage people to consider studying the subject at university. The Department of Materials Science and Engineering participates in a number of different Public Engagement and Outreach events, and involves students and staff at all levels in showing why materials is exciting and relevant.

Students from Headstart watching a live glass demoSchools and individuals can arrange to visit the Department or see the Department's stand at a variety of organised events. These include:

We also participate in a variety of Science Fairs, school visits and similar events, ranging from Key Stage 2 in schools to the University of the 3rd Age.

Educational resources

We regularly run student projects for undergraduates and postgraduates in developing activities for education.

Materials Monopoly

materials monopolyWe participated in the creation, and now coordinates the distribution to schools, of 'Materials Monopoly' a version of the board game aimed at giving students an idea of the uses of different types of material, and how research develops their capability for different applications.

The unique version of the popular game was invented by students from the Advanced Metallic Systems Centre of Doctoral Training to engage school children in engineering materials, replacing the iconic coloured streets around the board with a range of materials used in science, engineering and manufacturing, from cheap wood to expensive elements like uranium, as well as turning the train stations into facilities such as processing stations.

Chocolate breaking

Some of our work in developing educational resources around the use of chocolate to demonstrate material properties and behaviour has been published in journals for Teachers.

Chocolate impact tester developed in a student project

Lucy B Parsons and Russell Goodall, “Testing the fracture behaviour of chocolate”, Physics Education 46 (2011) 50-56

This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication/published in Physics Education. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The Version of Record is available online at doi:10.1088/0031-9120/46/1/006.

Julian Dean, Katrin Thomson, Lisa Hollands, Joanna Bates, Melvyn Carter, Colin Freeman, Plato Kapranos and Russell Goodall, “High-performance composite chocolate” Physics Education 48 (2013) 465-471

This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication/published in Physics Education. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The Version of Record is available online at doi:10.1088/0031-9120/48/4/465.

Further information

We are always happy to hear from schools and organisations who may be interested in interacting with us. Please contact Dr Chris Holland, The Department of Materials Science and Engineering.