As a matter of fact, ceramic materials are too often simply associated to great diffusion materials mainly employed as building materials (covering plates factories, glasses for windows, etc.). This narrow and negative image is the main reason why the education institution faces difficulties in the recruitment of students in the field of Ceramic Materials trainings.
Therefore, the EUCERMAT project aims at changing the image of ceramics in Europe. The development and implementation of innovative practices to promote ceramic sciences to the community, civil society, high school students and teachers, parents, educators in general, ceramic industry staff, is a huge issue then. To help institutions in implementing such practices a guidebook is currently under construction and it is expected for June 2018.
At the beginning of the project, it has been decided setting up a survey about the outreach activities: it has been assumed that more or less all of the partners have Outreach activities and the questionnaire should allow to access the different strategies used to promote Materials / Materials Science and Engineering among the different partners.
Following the analysis of the results the University of Aveiro presented the main identified messages and then the partners decided to put the following activities in place:
Creation of a Pedagogical Kit about ceramic science to be widely distributed among high schools accross Europe – under implementation.
Make short videos (3-4 min) in different languages to promote ceramic science – to be implemented.
Guide to promote ceramic science
The “Guide to promote ceramic science” analyses the existing activities regarding the promotion of ceramic science towards general public, and then to implement innovating ways of promoting ceramics science. The expected result is an increasing interest of students and public in ceramics science.
Efforts to innovate in materials science and particulary in ceramics instruction in schools must address three key aspects :
- To create and provide resources to high schools.
- To promote commitment to guarantee that some extra curricula activities related to advanced materials and ceramics and emerging technologies may be implemented with the high school.
- To sustain and generate reform. There is a need to establish long term relations between universities and high schools to foster new ideas, new knowledge, new experiments, in the field of materials / ceramics /advanced ceramics science and technology. This knowledge can result from collaboration among teachers, schools, and researchers in the area of ceramic sciences and technologies.