UConn Hosts First Materials Camp

PHOTOFaculty and students from the department of Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering and the University’s Institute of Materials Science (IMS), along with industrial partners, hosted nearly 40 students and four teachers on Monday, October 20 for UConn’s first Materials Camp. The students hailed from the University High School for Science and Engineering, a Hartford magnet school.

According to Dr. Rainer Hebert, the camp was organized under the auspices of ASM International, a professional organization of materials engineers and scientists. The organization has offered Materials Camps since 2002 as an avenue for high-school students to gain exposure to materials science activities and careers. Members of the ASM International Hartford chapter sponsored the event. Dr. Hebert said UConn’s IMS decided to host and sponsor the Materials Camp because the Institute houses an impressive selection of cutting-edge equipment and resources for demonstrations, an enthusiastic population of undergraduate and graduate students, and a desire to “attract bright and curious students to our program.”

During the half-day camp, the Hartford students visited seven learning stations, each equipped with a particular theme. The stations covered a range of representative materials science demonstrations involving nanotechnology, materials identification, high-temperature materials, casting, microstructures, energy and brazing. The groups enjoyed 30-minute explanations and demonstrations at each station, where “instructors” included not only UConn materials science faculty and students but also industry representatives, along with individuals from the Center for Research on Interface Structures and Phenomena (CRISP) program comprising researchers from Yale University and Southern Connecticut State University.

The day culminated with a panel discussion hosted by materials science and engineering senior Salay Stannard, Dr. Hebert and industry representatives Joe Kubinski and Mark Vecchiarelli, president of Yankee Casting. Dr. Hebert expressed gratitude to Mr. Arnie Grot of the ASM Hartford chapter for his assistance, and to the student volunteers whose efforts and excitement made the event a success.