By Helen Widman
The teachers pause to don a pair of paper solar glasses and file outside just in time to see the 2023 annular solar eclipse, visible in parts of North America on Saturday, October 14. Slices of the sun can be seen in the shadows as the teachers gaze up at the rare sighting. The event only added to the excitement of the Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation’s (CGIF) Teacher Training Workshop at the Colorado School of Mines.
CGIF spent the day with local Colorado science teachers at this Teacher Training Workshop to equip them with the knowledge and tools to inspire the next generation of ceramic and glass professionals.
The day-long workshop, which took place on the Colorado School of Mines’ campus, allowed CGIF to train teachers from the Denver area using the nine, hands-on lessons from the CGIF Materials Science Classroom Kit. The workshop was also generously sponsored by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines, Direxa Engineering, and Deltech Furnaces.
In addition to graduate students and professors from the Colorado School of Mines, local ceramic and glass industry professionals from Ardagh Glass and Johns Manville also attended the event to network with the teachers at an industry lunch.
The goal of the industry luncheon is for teachers to learn more about the diverse careers available in the ceramic and glass industries so that they can guide their students toward a career in materials science, or even guide them toward the new ceramic engineering degree that launched this fall at the Colorado School of Mines.
“It was a fantastic day of materials science learning for the teachers,” Marcus Fish, Director of Development and Industry Relations at the CGIF says. “It was so great to bring our teacher workshop to Mines with a new group of teachers to learn about materials science, especially with the new ceramic engineering undergraduate degree launching at Mines. This will give teachers a firsthand view of an opportunity for their students to pursue a degree in ceramic engineering at one of the country’s leading programs in materials science.”
Throughout the day, the teachers followed a peer learning model in which they learned how to teach one of the lessons from the Materials Science Classroom Kit, then they taught the lesson to their fellow teachers. Each teacher received a free kit to use in their own classroom.
The teachers also received a career packet that connects the CGIF Materials Science Classroom Kit lessons to real-life careers related to materials science and engineering, helping to further solidify the connection between materials science and the real world. The CGIF is sincerely grateful to the sponsors, volunteers, and teachers who helped make this Teacher Training Workshop possible in Colorado.
Want to see a Teacher Training Workshop near you? Visit ceramics.org/donate to help CGIF continue to bring this program nationwide.