Recruiting a New Generation of Ceramic Engineers


Students at the University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR) were awarded a grant to develop kits that could be used by high school science teachers to promote interest in ceramic materials to their students. The proposal was funded by the Associated Glass and Pottery Manufacturers Association (AGPMA) with the intent of increasing the visibility of Ceramic Engineering as a career to high school students. As part of the project, UMR undergraduates are developing and testing self-contained kits for distribution to high schools. The kits will contain all of the materials and supplies needed for high school teachers to perform experiments and controlled demonstrations that illustrate important scientific principles in an entertaining manner. Laboratory exercises based on slip casting and glass melting have been prepared for the kits. These hands-on activities give a basic understanding for what ceramic materials are and how they are produced. They emphasize the application of science (chemistry and physics) to form common raw materials into useful products. At the end of the funding cycle, an example kit, written instructions, and an interactive digital video disk (DVD) will be delivered to AGPMA for distribution to high schools. The kits will include materials for slip casting clay-based ceramics, glass making, a ceramic superconductor demonstration, and a space shuttle tile demonstration. The slip casting materials include pre-made slips that will fire to various colors. The kit also contains molds and glazes. The glass making kit includes instructions, raw materials, and supplies needed to make watercorn syrup-sugar analogues to the modifier-intermediate-glass former roles of the components in soda-lime-silicate glasses. Each kit also comes with an YBa2Cu3O7-δ pellet and a magnet for demonstration of the Meissner effect. Finally, the kits contain a space shuttle tile and instructions for demonstrations of the insulating power of this fascinating material.


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

High School Science Teachers; Kits; Ceramic materials

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2003 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2003