A materials library, like other curated collections, contains valuable reference which can be used for a wide variety of purposes. It is highly desirable for universities, especially those with strong engineering and materials science programmes like Queen Mary University of London Engineering School (QMES), to have a materials library as it allows students to see, touch and experience different materials.
In its innovative programme, QMES incorporates a comprehensive 26-hour materials library project in its 2nd year Personal Development Planning module. This project requires students to research potential materials, competitively communicate and market their choices to their peers to win support for the next stage, research and build a website about the material and finally use appropriate techniques to prepare a sample of the material for display. To take the project to the next level, in a year 3 module on materials characterisation, students must conduct actual experiments on their materials and expand their websites with real world test data. This affords an opportunity for students to integrate additional knowledge they have gained into an updated version of their websites. It is anticipated that as students move into their final year and need to complete final year and design projects the library will act as an invaluable resource. To test the effectiveness of the project, a survey was conducted in two parts inviting students to comment on the original material library project and the additional developments. The results, the teaching model and the lessons learned will be presented in this paper.
Faith Nightingale, Queen Mary University of London Engineering School, United Kingdom
Andrew Spowage, Queen Mary University of London Engineering School, United Kingdom
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