Materials Processing and Applications Development (MPAD) Center

McWane Center Outreach Event - Communicating Science & Engineering with Public Audience


mcwane feb 14MPAD participated in an exciting outreach event at the McWane Science Center. The event engages educational institutions as partners in developing a more science literate society, and in inspiring and empowering young people to focus on learning science, engineering, and math, and preparing for careers in research, engineering, science, and technology. Some of the students who pass by the Showcase  end up as graduate students and lab technicians or apprentice engineers.

Says Kathy Fournier, VP of Education at the Mcwane Science Center- "Some of you may  remember a visit to a science museum that inspired you to think about going into science/engineering as a career. Or maybe someone once introduced you to science or engineering in a way you’d never before experienced? You are going to have the opportunity here to inspire some young people and help them gain confidence in these fields as they consider their next steps in pursuing a career or college major. Honestly, that is what keeps me going each and every day here at McWane and there’s not a better feeling in the world. I think you’re going to find the experience extremely rewarding! It’s fun! I PROMISE!"

The UAB team gave exciting hands-on demos such as 'melting a penny in the hand with fire protection materials', composite boards used in ships and planes, helmets used by military and exposed the students to the opportunities in materials engineering.

-------------- Note from VP of McWane Science Center Hey Everyone: I want to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for your efforts today. I simply could not be more excited about how everything turned out.   Today is a perfect example of why I LOVE my job! Happy kids learning new and cool things, happy adults bringing those kids and learning themselves, making new partners and making new advocates for McWane and science education and great teamwork from staff and sharing today with all of you! Total GEEK LOVERS DAY!   We do not get much time to reflect on our successes because we are so quickly off working on the next event. Engineering Showcase ended 3 short hours ago and since then I have  written a board report and now am prepping for 2 outreaches tomorrow and 1 on Friday. I know all of you are moving on to your next items on your agendas as well and it is just the way it is, I know. But in the little time I can reflect on the events of the day I am so proud of what we accomplished today! I hope you are as well.

Also, I Mayor Bell was here today to be interviewed in the press about our new children's museum, the construction kick-off is next week.  When he saw all the activity and heard about the science teachers and Engineering Showcase he was elated.  He said 'This is EXACTLY what we hoped and dreamed for when we were building McWane 15 years ago!"   Pretty cool, that!

Kathy Fournier Vice President of Education McWane Science Center 200 19th Street North Birmingham, AL 35203