Materials World Modules

An Inquiry & Design-Based Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Program

What is MWM?

The Materials World Modules (MWM) is an integrated STEM Program based on crosscutting topics from the interdisciplinary field of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and Nanotechnology, established in 1993 with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and further developed under the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) and via subsequent grants from NSF, the U.S. Department of Defense and industry.


Here are some unique strengths of the MWM program:

  • Interacts and works effectively with schools, districts, and federal agencies
  • Supported hundreds of schools, thousands of precollege teachers, and reached over 200,000 students around the world (with global reach to Mexico, Qatar, China, and Singapore)
  • Recognized by The National Research Council for its efforts to bring engineering into the U.S. curriculum (Committee on K-12 Engineering Education Report, 2009)
  • Delivers a research-driven integrated STEM program
  • Brings to the classrooms an unique inquiry and engineering design pedagogy that meets NGSS and 21st century work skill-set
  • Provides a cyber/real space interactive program with real-time assessment
  • Introduces a new approach to 21st century learning and teaching by applying horizontal and vertical integration of STEM curricula
  • Delivers latest research practices directly into middle school and high school classrooms
  • Promotes community support to boost STEM literacy, and regional workforce and economic development


MWM has produced sixteen interdisciplinary modules designed for use in middle and high school science, technology, engineering, and math classrooms. The modules describe how materials and their properties can solve global problems and transform our everyday lives. Module topics cut across science disciplines and link them to engineering, math and technology applications.

16 modules 2 weeks units


National impact studies of more than 3,000 students for a single 2-week module (implemented within a wide range of science classrooms and geographical locales) show an average achievement gain of 2-3 standard deviations, compared to 0.8 standard deviations for a traditional class. Furthermore, an average achievement gain of 2.5 sigma is attained regardless of student gender, background, classroom setting, or teacher experience with equal success around the world.

Student Performance GainDistribution of Science CoursesDiverse School Locales

Mexico Pre Post Tests ResultsSimilar gains were also obtained in Mexico, China and Middle East (Qatar). Imagine the gains that will result from incorporating all sixteen MWM modules into the STEM curriculum.









MWM Intro Key Features

imwmInteractive MWM

Try our Intro to Nano online module. See your scores and activity data in real time.

MWM Overview at Youtube

@ Materials World Modules