Northwestern University MWM content developer, Matthew Hsu, and high school teachers, Renee DeWald of Evanston Township High School and Diane Riendeau of Deerfield High School, introduced materials science and nanotechnology concepts by teaching four modules: Concrete, Polymers, Introduction to the Nanoscale: Surface Area & Volume, and Manipulation of Light in the NanoWorld. The goal of the workshop was to train educators in Puerto Rico on how to use MWM modules, so that they could incorporate the program into their curriculum.
Teachers were separated into two groups and received training on the hands-on activities in parallel sessions, which culminated into interesting design projects, like creating synthetic opals and designing the strongest reinforced concrete. The two-day workshop ended with the testing of concrete samples made by each group after a one-day curing time.
Participants requested that MWM return for a longer time period to offer this professional development opportunity to more Puerto Rico teachers. Also, educators from Puerto Rico have expressed interest in helping the program translate the modules into Spanish.
This workshop helps promote the integration of materials science and nanotechnology concepts into the curriculum of middle schools, high schools, and colleges in Puerto Rico . As students become engaged in the module activities, the modules are created to promote scientific inquiry and technological creativity among individuals and to foster the ability to innovate and solve problems in teams.
Special recognition goes to Dr. Gerardo Morell, director of the NASA Puerto Rico Space Grant Consortium, and his team at the University of Puerto Rico for hosting the event.
The NASA Puerto Rico Space Grant Consortium (PRSGC) enhances local research and education capabilities in NASA-related fields and contributes to the Nation's Science and Technology enterprise by capitalizing on the institutional and human resources available on the Island.