Armour College Hosts ASM Materials Camp

Master teacher Caryn Jackson demonstrates during the ASM Materials Camp.

Master teacher Caryn Jackson demonstrates during the ASM Materials Camp.

Fire is a great way of grabbing people’s attention – especially in a classroom full of junior high and high school students.

This past week at the ASM Materials Camp held on the Main Campus, a group of 13 junior high and high school science teachers learned various methods to further engage and excite their students in materials science and STEM careers.

During the 40-hour long workshops, teachers were given a hands-on opportunity to learn about new, free, or low-cost ideas for lab experiments that they can replicate in their classroom. The group covers a different type of material each day, and then takes part in several lab experiments to demonstrate the properties of each material.

One experiment involved simultaneously heating a piece of ceramic and a piece of aluminum – each with birthday candles stuck to them. When heated at the same time it was easy to see that the aluminum conducted heat faster than the ceramic once the birthday candles melted off the aluminum rod, while still staying attached to the ceramic rod.

Master teachers Caryn Jackson of Tolles Career & Technical Center in Plain City, Ohio and Bernoli Baello of Northridge Prep School in Niles, IL led the demonstrations.

“After attending the workshop for a few days, I have begun questioning all the material science and engineering that has gone into everyday objects, and I hope my students will too,” said Dana Baulukos, general science teacher for 7th and 8th graders at Independence Junior High located in Palos Heights.

Keith Bowman, Duchossois Leadership Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering (MMAE) at IIT Armour College of Engineering, served as host for the camp and was happy with its success.

“Each of the 13 teachers who completed the entire program are now primed to expose MSE and STEM to the several hundred students they each impact every year,” he said.