Kate Heroux, a chemistry teacher at Lake Forest High School (Lake Forest, IL) and co-author of the Food Packaging Module, has developed a high school course that is based on the Materials World Modules. The course, called Materials Design, is offered to seniors at Lake Forest High School on a single semester basis, although students can enroll in the course each semester for credit. The students vary in ability and experience. The course uses an open-ended inquiry through design approach. Working in small groups, students develop a design project, which reflects the interests of the group members. While working on their designs, students have sought the advice of experts in academia and industry. "People really seem to like to work with high school students and help them succeed," says Kate. "While participating in the Materials Design course, students have shown resourcefulness and ingenuity. They have developed communication skills and found appreciation for real-world complexities at all levels. They have also learned science."
Each semester, Kate's students present their final design projects during a day-long symposium that is open to the school and the community. The Materials Design course has become so successful that next year, Lake Forest High School may offer additional sections, so more students can participate.