IOM3 Schools Affiliate Scheme

Materials World magazine
1 Mar 2006

The Schools Afilliate Scheme (SAS) was launched by IOM3 in 1999 to assist with the teaching of materials, minerals and mining topics in the secondary school curriculum, as well as the promotion of materials science, technology and engineering as potential careers. It is just one of the many programmes run by IOM3's Education Group.

Member schools of the SAS receive teaching resources that are designed to link in with the science and design technology curriculum. They also receive termly newletters, which include dates of university open days, details of courses for students and teachers, career information, resource reviews and case studies.

The scheme runs school presentations on ‘Materials in Action'. These talks cover those areas where materials have contributed to advances in technology. They include a range of samples for students to explore, such as turbine blades and jet engines, hip and knee joints, crash helmets and silicon chips. A nominated teacher will also receive membership of the Institute, allowing them to access specialists in all areas of materials, minerals and mining, and attend meetings of their local society. The annual SAS membership fee is £30. Other professional development events offered by the Institute for teachers include the School Teachers' Day, which takes place during Materials Congress on 7 April 2006. This event will include seminars on Biomaterials for regenerative medicine Chemical design and synthesis of new functional materials Innovation in construction materials Packaging - covering all options Processing and characterisation of advanced ceramics Rolling research to 2010. Plus an afternoon at the Tower of London.

The Association for Science Education also organises an annual three-day conference for science teachers that takes place at the beginning of the year. In addition, the Design and Technology Association holds an exhibition for technology teachers, which is held this year in July. The Institute has attended both events in the past.

Meanwhile, UCAS Conventions provide the opportunity to engage directly with A-level students to promote materials, minerals and mining engineering as viable and rewarding courses and careers. The Institute has attended these conventions since 1999, and in 2006, representatives will be at the following sessions: 22-23 March, WestPoint Arena, Exeter 3 April, National Indoor Athletics Centre, Cardiff 9 May, Metro Radio Arena, Tyneside 20-21 June, Liverpool University 30 June, Queen Mary, University of London 4 July, Hallam FM Arena, Sheffield 11-12 September, University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Finally, the Education Group is also engaged with the Worshipful Company of Horners and various universities in the delivery of course content and organising committee activities of the Polymer Study Tours - a three-and-a-half day course designed to help educate teachers on the science, technology and applications of polymers (both plastics and rubbers).