In connection with our partnership with the DoD Army Research Laboratories, on Friday, April 16, 2004, MWM curriculum content developers Matthew Hsu and Jennifer Cocson kicked off an introductory workshop with Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) in Aberdeen, MD.
After a welcome by Dr. Bruce Fink, Chief (A), Materials Division Weapons & Materials Research Directorate, and self-introductions, Matthew began with an overview of the Program philosophy. This was followed by a break-out session where groups could experience and be engaged in different hands-on activities.
The enthusiastic 25+ participants were divided into five groups, each with a mix of APG scientists and engineers and area high school and middle school teachers. Then each group was allowed to choose one activity to do, either Biosensors, Composites, Smart Sensors, Sports Materials, or Concrete. After about 30 minutes of making predictions about the results of their individual experiments, conducting their experiments, collecting data, drawing conclusions, and suggesting applications for design or further research, the groups presented their findings to the "class" in turn. This was a great opportunity for everyone to learn more about the variety of module topics available from MWM. Interspersed were video clips showing overviews of the modules. These videos are also available in the Video Gallery (to insert URL) on this website. The remainder of the workshop focused more in-depth on the concepts and experimental procedures of the Biodegradable Materials Module in the morning and the Sports Materials Module in the afternoon.
Matthew wrapped up the day by showing participants information on the impact of MWM nationwide and around the world, feedback from the online modules field test, and alignment with standards. Special thanks to APG for lunch, refreshments, and their warm hospitality, especially to Dr. Fink for providing this opportunity at Aberdeen, as well as the pictures, and to Dr. Rose Ann Pesce-Rodriguez and Dr. Rob Lieb for their efforts in coordinating the event. Many thanks also to our partners for their attendance at and participation in our workshop: Mr. John Yochelson, president of Building Engineering and Science Talent (BEST) in San Diego, CA; Mr. Ray Pawlicki, Research Program Director for the Department of Defense Ordnance Technology Center (DOTC) at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey; and Ms. Kathi Donoghue, Program Administrator of the DOTC.