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UK Centre for Materials Education
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The UK Centre for Materials Education is very aware of the current concerns for student numbers and is involved in national strategies to enhance public awareness of science and engineering. Alongside some of the projects highlighted below, the Centre is also co-ordinating a research project to review which aspects of these initiatives are most successful.

Public Understanding

Why Study Materials? website

The website is designed to increase understanding and awareness of Materials Science. The website has been created both as an informal guide to the world of Materials, and importantly as a teaching aid for use in secondary-level education. There are a number of interactive games, quizzes and movies on the site, ranging from virtual tours of cars, football boots and aeroplanes, to ships, CDs and Stealth aircraft. The site also hosts video interviews with university students, information on related university courses, open days, and career opportunities to help younger students make informed choices about their futures.

Composites on Tour

The Composites-on-Tour mobile exhibition was created in the framework of a European project, funded by the EU. The exhibition was conceived and built by the Composite Materials Group of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, who created a number of innovative approaches to show how composites work. In 2002 the mobile exhibition travelled 15,000 km through Europe and attracted over 30,000 visitors. With funding from the EPSRC, the exhibition returned to the UK in 2003 for an extended tour.

Materials Photographic Competition

The Centre organised a photographic competition to raise public awareness and understanding of materials science. The aim of the competition was to attract images that demonstrate an aspect of materials science and would help us to look at the 'Materials World' in a novel way. The competition had two catetgories; Materials Close Up and Materials Concepts.

Building the Impossible

A BBC2 television series in which Caroline Baillie, Deputy Director of the UK Centre for Materials Education, was one of two scientists challenged to re-create a succession of engineering feats from the past.

The Recycling for Life project

A European-funded project run by the Centre which enabled local, unemployed women to learn about, write and perform a play about recycling plastics to Merseyside schools.




  • Page Updated 01/02/2011