In collaboration with the Materials Research Society at the University of Delaware, we have started a demonstration program to help increase the awareness of materials science to the local community. We have begun traveling to local secondary schools to perform interactive demonstrations with students ranging in age from 8-16 years old. We believe that by introducing materials science and all other sciences interactively, rather than in a lecture encourages the students to learn.

K-12 Outreach Materials Awareness Program

Have you ever thought about the science that goes into the design of materials used in things you use – such as your clothing (nylon, polyester), digital cameras or even your automobiles?

The study of materials science covers ALL areas of the physical and engineering sciences. It is an interdisciplinary field which includes sub categories such as ceramics, biomechanics, semiconductors, polymer science, and catalysis. Materials Scientists are constantly designing new and exciting materials that have unique properties. Current technology allows scientists to design and test these different materials. For example, sports equipment manufacturers often rely on the performance advantages obtained from advanced materials. In fact, materials developed for aerospace and other high technology areas are being used for sporting goods. Development and engineering of new materials for sporting goods ands other areas presents unique challenges and opportunities for the materials scientist.

There are many opportunities available to scientists and engineers in the field of Materials Science and Engineering. The field, although small, is quickly growing and there is a constant need for people who can apply basic materials principles to the physical sciences and engineering. Projects that materials scientists may work on include:

  • Designing new materials and improving existing materials for renewable energy sources (i.e. – solar cells). The Institute of Energy
  • Conversion at the University of Delaware has been integral in the development of thin film solar cells.
  • Developing a tissue scaffold using synthetic polymer fibers.
  • Developing new catalytic materials that reduce auto emissions with higher selectivity and activity than existing ones.