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Materials camp for teachers hosted by HAMMER at Ohio State

Participants of ASM Materials Teachers Camp June 16, 2023 Ohio State
Participants in the June 12-16 ASM Materials Camp®- Teachers/Advanced at The Ohio State University
Photos of the ASM Materials Camp®- Teachers/Advanced on Flickr


Teachers from high schools, middle schools, industustrial/career, and technical education centers around the U.S. spent the week of June 12 on Ohio State's Columbus campus for ASM Materials Camp® for Teachers/Advanced. The program was established by the ASM Materials Education Foundation, which has been "promoting applied science careers for students and teachers" through events like ASM Materials Camp® since 1952.1 

ASM Materials Education Foundation logo

Part of the philosopy behind ASM Materials Camp®-Teachers is to enrich curriculum development and pique students' interest in math and core science principles. Lab-based workhops with a materials science technology focus allowed Chemistry, Physics, Physical Science, and Engineering teachers to experince hands-on activities that can be transferred to their classrooms. According to the ASM Materials Education Foundation's website, "Materials topics are great motivators in any engineering, technology or science course as students learn concepts that are reflected in their everyday lives."1 

NSF's HAMMER Engineering Research Center hosted ASM Materials Camp® - Teachers/Advanced the week of June 12. Part of HAMMER's mission is to offset the shortage of skilled manufacturing talent burdening domestic industry by hosting workforce development programs. Atrractive career opportunities offering job security, competitive salaries, advancement, and education reimbursement go unfilled as industrial operations seek qualified candidates ranging from shop-floor workers to engineers to those with doctor of philosophy degrees.

Dr. Glenn Daehn, Mars G. Fontana Professor of Metallurgical Engineering at Ohio State, has a long-standing relationship with the ASM  Materals Education Foundation, including being the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors. Daehn and HAMMER ERC Administrative Director Kathy Babusci are credited with organizing these (and similar) camps for years.

As a result of programs like ASM Materials Camp® for teachers, many high schools in Ohio and beyond have implemented full materials science courses. It's a great program that integrates into existing science, engineering and technology curriculum in ways that apply to students' everday life.

Glenn Daehn
Materials Science and Engineering Professor

The Ohio State University

ASM Materials Camp® - Teachers/Advanced is a sequel camp to pre-requisite ASM Materials Camp® - Teachers. The difference between the two programs is learning "how to use applied engineering techniques"2 in the classroom compared to the advanced experience that teaches "how to implement a successful Materials Science course."3 

Throughout the week, teachers occupied Fontana Laboratories where they completed labs employing metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites to reinforce how project-based courses inspire students to learn science concepts. Fontana Laboratories is the first phase of Ohio State's new Biomedical and Materials Engineering Complex. The three-year-old, 124,000-square-foot structure is the new home of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and features state-of-the-art 14 teaching laboratories, five classrooms and a 159-seat auditorium.

Henry Leng and Kelly Calvelage ASM Materials Camp for Teachers at Ohio State 2023
Teachers Henry Leng and Kelly Calvelage conduct a glass batching experiment in Fontana Laboratories on June 14.

Teacher takeaways

Teachers like Kelly Calvelage used the opportunity to get more hands-on experience teaching materials science and learn how to most effectively add it to her classroom through practical applications. Some of the lab activities at Ohio State like tin whiskers — an experiment that submerges Tin in a Zinc-oxide base to create a reaction resembling whisker shapes — will be included in Calvelage's classroom this fall. She teaches junior- and senior-level classes at Tolles Career and Technical Center located in Plain City, OH.

I am looking forward to sharing information about opportunities my students could have at Ohio State, especially in the Materials Science and Engineering and Welding Engineering Programs. I am hoping to plan a field trip so that students can see what is happening so close to home.

Kelly Calvelage
Tolles Career and Technical Center

Plain City, OH

Completing the ASM Materials Camp®-Teachers set transforms more than materials technology curriculum, it can change the educator's mindset. Henry Leng, 10th grade Chemistry and 12th grade Physics teacher at East High School (Kansas City, MO), recalls finding encouragement to remain in the classroom teaching after ASM Materials Camp® - Teachers. After completing ASM Materials Camp® - Teachers/Advanced, Leng is motivated to continue pushing for other science experiences that provide additional hands-on, real-world experiences for all students.

My students this past year enjoyed having materials science in the chemistry curriculum by making sparklers and experimenting with metals. This camp inspired me to incorporate more hot work into the curriculum by using our kiln to explore more with glass, metals, and ceramics. These experiences will enhance our school in delivering project-based learning.

Henry Leng
East High School

Kansas City, MO

Invited speakers

Intel presentation at ASM Materials Camp for Teachers
Professor Glenn Daehn (right) moderates the Intel discussion with teachers.

Apart from the hands-on lab experience, participants heard live presentations from Intel representatives, who reinforced the urgent need for a highly skilled and diverse semiconductor manufacturing workforce. All semiconductors start with a base material, traditionally silicon, that is harvested for use in computer chips, solar panels and more. Intel is currently constructing two new chip factories near Ohio State’s main campus in Columbus and has committed $17.7 million to 80 Ohio colleges and universities, of which $1.5 million will be used "to develop an iterative, student-centered, curricular approach that supports the development of a diverse and inclusive semiconductor educational field and skilled workforce throughout Ohio."

Tour day explores materials research and development capabilities at Ohio State

One day was dedicated to tours at some of Ohio State's centers which are performing innovative materials research and development all while providing hands-on educational opportunities to students. Participants enjoyed guided tours and up-close introductions to some of the most advanced, state-of-the-art equipment and resources available today.

Dr. Boyd Panton, Lincoln Electric Endowed Professor of welding engineering, took the group on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Edison Joining Technology Laboratory (EJTC), Ohio State's welding engineering laboratory. It's a 35,000 square-foot facility encompassing laboratories specific to advanced destructive and nondestructive evaluation, polymer joining, microscopy, automation, additive manufacturing, and a wide range of joining processes including arcs, resistance, ultrasonic and lasers. The group was the first to see the facility's new hand-held laser welding system.

Ranie Abia high school teacher attending ASM Materials Camp at Ohio State, CDME
Teachers Ranie Abia [Orange County (Florida) Public Schools]) and Audrey Birkhold (Central Crossing High School, Columbus, OH) get an up-close of a 3D-printed scaffold at CDME

The Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME) exposed the teachers to various manufacturing processes used by staff engineers and Ohio State students for industry-sourced projects. Their additive manufacturing laboratory houses more than $8 million in equipment, including industrial 3D printers capable of processing metals, polymers, composites, biomaterials, and ceramics. Foundry equipment, injection molding systems and materials testing equipment were also highlights throughout the tour of the 45,000 square-foot site.

The final tour stop was the Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis (CEMAS), a 27,000 square-foot facility dedicated to materials characterization using analytical electron microsopy. Teachers were shown how this technology is especially useful in performing imaging research for physical and biological sciences.

As camp participants prepare to head back to the classroom this fall, their curriculum may be revised to include materials science content learned at the ASM Materials Camp® - Teachers/Advanced. The camp's design afforded open-ended idea sharing inspired by hands-on lab excercises and a network of educators with a will to introduce or advance the science of materials to their students. "I loved being able to talk to all of the other science teachers and industry partners and hear how they use this content in the classroom. The networking and connections are the most valuable part of the camp," said Kelly Calvelage. 

NSF's HAMMER ERC was responsible for planning and funding the weeklong event for which participants received four Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and the option to receive two graduate-level credits upon completion. 

Learn more about the ASM Education Foundation and see the upcoming ASM Materials Camp® schedule by visiting their website.


About HAMMER Engineering Research Center


Hybrid Autonomous Manufacturing, Moving from Evolution to Revolution (HAMMER) is a partnership between the National Science Foundation and an alliance of academics, industry and technical societies, led by The Ohio State University. HAMMER will perform foundational research, educate a new and diverse workforce, and develop a new innovative industrial ecosystem.

1 About the ASM Materials Education Foundation, ASM Materials Education Foundation. Accessed June 28, 2023.
2 ASM Materials Camp®-Teachers, ASM Materials Education Foundation. Accessed June 28, 2023.
3 ASM Materials Camp-Teachers®/Advanced, ASM Materials Education Foundation. Accessed June 28, 2023.

4 Intel announces nearly $1.5M grant for statewide workforce-development partnership, Ohio State College of Engineering. Accessed June 28, 2023.


Libby Culley, Senior Communications Specialist   |
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Category: Research