The main thrust of the MWM Program is to engage students in making sense of the rich tapestry
of materials that surround them and to provide an opportunity to create new materials or
fabrics for our world. The Materials World Modules create an environment of scientific inquiry
within a design context involving material objects; students ponder design problems that
scientists and engineers encounter every day in the workplace. Incorporating inquiry within
a materials design context helps to provide purpose and structure in the learning of underlying
Why Study Materials?
Throughout much of human history, progress has been defined by advances in the materials
human society uses, such as during the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age. Today,
in every sector of human activity, materials continue to impact all fronts of society and
significantly enhance the quality of life.
Materials are constantly concocted or invented to meet the demands of science and society.
We can make synthetic skin, blood, and bone. We can make information superhighways from glass.
We can make shields to protect planes that fly in and out of Earth's atmosphere. We can make
materials that repair themselves, that swell and flex like muscles, that repel ink or paint
and that capture the energy of the sun.
Materials technology is the basis of all modern industries that drive the global economy.
Few would have predicted fifty years ago that silicon would have such dominance in communications
and information processing. Throughout the twenty-first century and beyond, materials will
continue to enable technology that explores new frontiers, and develop more efficient and
cleaner ways to power the world.
» Inquiry and Design
» Interdisciplinary Approach
» Learning Goals
||Materials World Modules
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