The mission of the Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation (CGIF) is to attract, inspire, and train the next generation of ceramic and glass professionals.  The CGIF works diligently to provide programming to students of all ages that will interest and inspire them to pursue careers in our industry.

Materials Science Classroom Kit

The CGIF promotes ceramic and glass science and engineering to middle and high school students through distribution of its Materials Science Classroom Kit.   The kit is used by teachers to introduce 7th-12th grade students to the basic classes of materials–ceramics, composites, metals, and polymers–through fun and interactive lessons.  The kit includes nine materials science lessons–five teacher demonstrations and four student labs.  Six of the lessons focus specifically on ceramic and glass materials.       

The kit includes most of the items needed to perform the demonstrations and labs, as well as a flash drive that contains an introductory PowerPoint presentation that outlines each lesson, as well as instructional videos for each demonstration. The printed Teacher’s Manual provides the scientific concepts, learning objectives, lesson instructions, discussion questions, and student handouts for each demonstration and lab. The lesson documents may also be downloaded at no charge from our website: http://ceramics.org/free-lesson-download.

The kit was originally designed by The American Ceramic Society’s President’s Council of Student Advisors — college students from the best engineering universities around the world — to assist teachers with instructing science in an interactive and engaging way.  

In addition, the popular book, The Magic of Ceramics, accompanies the kit and introduces the nontechnical reader to the many exciting applications of ceramics while teaching key scientific concepts.

Student Outreach Events

The CGIF organized a ceramic and glass exhibitor area at the 2016 USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, DC.  This festival is the country’s only national science festival, developed to increase awareness about the importance of science and to encourage youth to pursue careers in science and engineering.  The CGIF presented hands-on ceramic and glass materials demonstrations for the 360,000 students, teachers, and parents in attendance.  The USA Science & Engineering Festival takes place every two years, and we are planning to participate in 2018.

The CGIF came away an award winner following its participation in the Technology and Engineering Showcase at the Ohio State Fair in August 2016.  The annual exhibition is sponsored by the Ohio Technology & Engineering Educators Association, which awarded the Foundation the 2016 Best Technology Exhibit and an Outstanding Award for Technology Education.  The CGIF chose this venue to provide unique learning experiences to those who may be unfamiliar with ceramic and glass science.  Both children and adults were engrossed in the unique demonstrations provided at our exhibit.  Students from The Ohio State University’s Materials Science and Engineering Department assisted in demonstrating various activities for interested fairgoers, and we will participate again in 2017.

The Foundation was pleased to showcase and demonstrate the Materials Science Classroom Kit at the Materials in STEM conference that took place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, November 6 – 8, 2016.  M-STEM brings together students, faculty and business to strengthen understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) principles, especially relating to materials science, and to enhance K-20 technology education integration.  We look forward to participating in the 2017 M-STEM Conference that will take place in Hampton, Virginia, November 4 – 7, 2017.

The CGIF was represented at the National Science Teachers Association’s (NSTA) Area Conference, which was held in Columbus, Ohio, December 1 – 3, 2016.  The conference theme, Champions of Science: A Game Plan for the Future!, was a very good venue for the promotion of our Materials Science Classroom Kit to science teachers from around the region.  It is estimated that over 2400 science teachers attended the three-day exhibition, and we came away with a sign-up sheet of more than 51 teachers who expressed interest in receiving a sponsored kit.  This was a worthwhile event and we will participate in the regional conference again in 2017.

University-Industry Network

This unique network is designed to encourage schools around the world to continue teaching key concepts in ceramic and glass science. This program provides financial and programmatic resources to key professors at participating universities to give their undergraduate students more opportunities to develop an interest in the ceramic and glass fields. The University-Industry Network also helps connect students with champions in industry who utilize ceramic and glass materials. Funding is available to each university member to support programs and initiatives that deepen a student’s understanding of and interest in ceramic and glass materials. Five schools are currently participating in the pilot the program: Alfred University, Clemson University, The Colorado School of Mines, Penn State, and Missouri University of Science and Technology.

The Ceramic and Glass Career Center website at careers.ceramics.org is the best place for job and internship seekers to find a great ceramic and glass career opportunity.  The site is promoted to all members of The American Ceramic Society, especially to our students and young professionals.  It is the ideal place for employers who utilize ceramic and glass materials to find the best and the brightest materials students and professionals.

Student Travel Grants and Exchanges

The CGIF also supports Student Travel Grants and Exchanges to enable students to gain a broad perspective and professional insight into their chosen career path. The Foundation was proud to support 13 students who attended the Electroceramics Summer School in Limoges, France (June 23 – 25, 2016).

Most recently, the CGIF sponsored the 2017 Winter Workshop, which took place January 18 – 22, in Orlando, Florida.  We were pleased to host 15 international students who were supported by the European Ceramic Society, who joined students from across the United States. 

Student Leadership Development

Offering university students opportunities to learn and grow as young leaders is best embodied by the President’s Council of Students Advisors (PCSA).  At present, PCSA members coordinate student-focused ceramic programming at technical meetings, facilitate industry-student relations via plant tours, and volunteer at outreach events to share their passion with younger students. 

 

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the Foundation’s programs and initiatives, please contact Belinda Raines, Outreach Manager, at braines@ceramics.org.