Saturday, December 31, 2016

Material Properties 101

The narrator's Irish accent, tho...

The introduction to the video says there are six terms that he's hoping we understand by the end of the video...
  • stiff
  • strong
  • ductile
  • brittle
  • tough
  • hard
Man, if all of my students understood those terms by the end of the semester, I'd be thrilled.

We get coverage of a tensile test to explain stress, strain, and the stress-strain curve (along with many of its aspects - yield strength, ultimate strength, Young's modulus, fracture, tensile strength, max allowable load/stress, toughness).

He then covers hardness briefly, explaining how the Rockwell hardness test works.

It's not perfect because it left me wanting to know more...but maybe that's the point.

The entire video is six minutes long, and the last forty-five seconds or so is an advertisement for the video's sponsor - annoying but still school appropriate, thankfully.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Polymer Ambassadors & POLYED

Just last week I was at NSTA's regional conference in Columbus, OH, and I came back with a few things I thought I should mention.

First, go to an NSTA conference. They're outstanding. Admittedly, the regional conferences are smaller versions of the glorious, massive, national confernces, but that's still a pretty outstanding version. Yes, the ASM folks tend to present, but I'm all good with seeing them and continue to learn new things every time. Do yourself a favor and avoid most of the exhibitor workshops because they tend to be extended sales pitches (unless you already have a relationship with the company and know that they don't do as much selling as they do teaching.) And, check out the ASM folks (Debbie Goodwin, Andy Nydam, Scott Spoller, Caryn Jackson, Sherri Rukes) while you're there because their presentations are contistently outstanding. On the personal side of things, I can say that it was a regional NSTA presentation from Debbie and Andy that got me involved with the material science program.

Secondly, at her presentation (lotions, potions, and scrubs), Sherri mentioned two resources. The first is the Polymer Ambassadors website (available but currently undergoing a much needed redesign behind the scenes) with its excellent activity sheets and links to the PolyEd Award, a grant to fund and reward polymer education in the schools. The current application information lists only an award for middle and high school teachers who teach about polymers in the classroom, but Sherri mentioned that this year's awards will now have separate competitions for elementary, middle, and high school teachers.

The grants pay $1000 per teacher - directly to the teacher - for, I guess, supplies to keep teaching about polymers, though the payment comes to the teacher not to the school district. Plus the winner gets funds paid to go to a national NSTA conference. The application process isn't very involved, and Sherri has said that in a number of years they give out a half dozen awards with fewer than a half dozen applicants.

That means you're likely to win the award if you apply.

So, what's stopping you?

You teach about polymers, right?

Whether it's two-part Eurocast and shrinky dinks or bioplastics, that's teaching about polymers.