By Belinda Raines
Since its founding in 2014, The Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation (CGIF) has worked diligently to achieve its mission of attracting, inspiring, and training the next generation of ceramic and glass professionals. Several programs were launched in 2015 to accomplish this goal and are highlighted in the Foundation’s 2015 Annual Report.
The report explains how introducing young people to the world of ceramic and glass materials is the basis of our Student Outreach Programs. The CGIF promotes ceramic and glass science and engineering to middle and high school students through various outreach initiatives. We participate in science fairs and similar events to promote the opportunities and rewards of a career in this field. Once such event in which we participated was the 2016 USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, DC, April 15 – 17, 2016.
Additionally, the CGIF reaches out to students by providing teachers with ACerS Materials Science Kits. The materials science demonstrations and laboratory kits provide an introduction to the basic classes of materials (ceramics, composites, metals, and polymers) through fun and interactive lessons.
The CGIF University-Industry Network, launched in 2015, 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. In addition, the University-Industry Network helps connect students with champions in industry who utilize ceramic and glass materials. Five schools were selected to pilot the program in the 2015-2016 academic year: Alfred University, Clemson University, The Colorado School of Mines, Penn State, and Missouri University of Science and Technology.
The online Ceramic and Glass Career Center at careers.ceramics.org, also launched in 2015, is the premiere website for job and internship seekers to find the best ceramic and glass career opportunities. 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 most qualified materials students and professionals.
The CGIF also supported Student Travel Grants and Exchanges in 2015 to enable students to gain a broad perspective and professional insight into their chosen career path. One such opportunity was the travel assistance provided to four U.S. students to attend the European Ceramics Society (ECerS) Summer School in Madrid, Spain in June 2015. We are proud to be assisting 15 students this year to attend the Electroceramics Summer School in Limoges, France (June 23 – 25, 2016).
To read the Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation’s 2015 Annual Report, click here.