Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom, January 29, 2015 --(PR.com
)-- ‘Business Class’ is a government-endorsed programme, which provides a systematic framework for businesses to support young people in education.
Lucideon partnered with the Excel Academy in Stoke-on-Trent and co-taught year 9 students, under the aegis of the STEMNET (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network) Ambassadors scheme.
The Lucideon STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Ambassadors, Dr Chris Green, Dr Andrew Smith, Stuart Watson and Caroline Mullington, delivered a ceramic tile project based around the development of tests and the measurement of physical properties of five different ceramic clay bodies. The project was designed to encourage students to think about the actual properties, strength, water absorption, density, etc., and how the physical properties of the fired ceramic tiles made from the different clay bodies could be evaluated, and what the differences would be.
Initially, Lucideon’s STEM Ambassadors spent a day with the students demonstrating different test methods for measuring strength and impact resistance of the fired ceramics, as well as how to measure the plastic and liquid limits of the different clay bodies.
Two weeks later, the Ambassadors returned to hear what progress the students had made with designing and building the test rigs from scratch, and what results they had managed to gather.
The Ambassadors will return in the spring term to compare the results Lucideon measured in their accredited laboratories, and those of the students. During this visit, there will also be discussions around what STEM subjects can offer as a basis for future careers in Science and Technology.
Dr Andrew Smith, Head of Sustainability & Construction Materials at Lucideon commented:
“It’s been a pleasure to work with the staff and students at the Excel Academy.
“As a STEM-based company, the staff at Lucideon are immersed in the STEM subjects on a day-to-day basis. What I believe we’ve brought to the learning process is to show the hands-on, practical side of materials science. It’s not all about ‘hi-tech’ machines; the love of the subject comes from understanding the basics and having the confidence to apply this basic knowledge into new areas that drive the STEM subjects forwards.
“Dropping steel ball bearings into ‘mud pies’ and measuring how deep they go, and making ‘clay sausages’, or smashing up ceramic tiles, doesn’t sound like a science class, but all of these tests are used to understand the different properties of ceramic materials, both raw materials and fired finished products.
“Above all, I hope we have shown the students that science is fun.”