On December 21st, 2012, six members of the UConn Materials Advantage Student Chapter (UCMA) went to Bacon Academy high school to educate and promote Materials Science to integrated science students. The UCMA members used demonstrations such as the insulating effect of a space shuttle tile and the Meissner effect of a high-temperature superconductor. They also exhibited a number of novel materials such as shape memory alloys or the world’s lowest density solid, a silica aerogel, to showcase the diverse and far-reaching applications of the discipline. They explained how material research and discovery leads not only to exotic applications but also to everyday items such as smaller computers, long-lasting LED lights, and efficient transportation. The Bacon Academy high school students learned that a career choice in engineering means they can be involved in a multitude of evolving technologies like biocompatible implants, carbon fiber applications, and nanomaterials. They also learned that choosing Material Science as a major allows them to work in many industries including the sports, transportation, energy, electronics, and biomaterials sectors, among others.
The UConn Materials Advantage student chapter is nationwide among the most active and successful chapters focusing on outreach. It has won the prestigious “Chapter of Excellence” award twice and the “World Materials Day Outreach” award a number of times. Material Advantage membership is open to any student and provides access to the materials science and engineering professional’s most preeminent societies such as The American Ceramic Society (ACerS), the Association for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST), The Materials Information Society (ASM International), and The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS). Click here for more information about the UConn chapter.