Outreach & External Communications Lead
The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS)
April 25, 2019—Pittsburgh, PA (USA): The Materials Explorers™ STEM
outreach program recently launched its newest classroom activities for high
school students through the support of the Arconic Foundation.
™ was initially developed and launched in 2018 by The Minerals, Metals
& Materials Society to grow an understanding of materials science &
engineering (MSE) among high school students through popular culture
references. The program’s newest collection, “
The Materials That Move Us
” explain materials science and engineering concepts through the framework
of real-world applications such as aircraft, ships, and automobiles. Many
of the real-world technologies referenced are application worked on at
program is made up of two main components. The first is the volunteer
aspect which brings TMS members into their local high schools to serve as
real-life role models. Volunteers can help teachers explain complex
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) concepts by
relating them to popular culture. They can also show students how materials
science and engineering shapes the world around them by discussing the
applications of their work.
The second component of Materials Explorers™ is the collection of
downloadable class activities made available to teachers, parents, and
students for free. The program launched with eight distinct popular culture
topics ranging from smartphones to superheroes. The newest topic area to
join the collection uses examples from the transportation industry to
explain the following STEM concepts: Data Collection and Graphing;
Measurement and Scale; Chemical and Physical Properties and States of
The update also includes the addition of a Capstone Project. The Materials Explorers™ program teaches students the scientific
method and the importance of materials selection in designing a product. In
the capstone project, students apply that knowledge to conceptualize and
design their very own product.
“Programs such as Materials Explorers™ generate a real interest in
STEM among young people,” notes Suzanne van de Raadt, vice president of
Global Communications and Partnerships at Arconic Foundation. “Students can
picture themselves as a scientist or engineer, and know that no career is
barred to them. Arconic Foundation is happy to support a program that helps
realize its mission of preparing tomorrow's workforce for successful,
James Robinson, executive director of TMS, adds that “ Materials Explorers™ presents STEM role models to
students, especially those in traditionally underrepresented groups, who
may never have considered a career in STEM. This not only helps secure the future of the broad MSE field but strengthens
it by the inclusion of diverse perspectives and experiences.”
Teachers and parents interested in the program can download class
activities and teacher guides for free at
. Schools wishing to host a classroom visit may contact
to connect with a volunteer scientist or engineer in their area.
TMS members wishing to become involved should visit www.materials-explorers.org/Volunteers and log in to their TMS accounts. Once logged in, they will be able to access volunteer resources or join the official volunteer list.
TMS is a non-profit, international professional society with a mission to
promote the global science and engineering professions concerned with
minerals, metals, and materials.