search  current discussion  categories  teaching 

help with a kid's worshop

updated wed 27 feb 02


Megan Ratchford on tue 26 feb 02

Howdy! I've been asked to give two workshops for girls in the Jr. High =
age group. It's to help expose the girls to careers in science, math, =
and non-traditional vocations, (guess which one yours truly is =
considered, heh, heh.)
I was thinking that giving a speech about how you can find =
employment in fields influenced by the arts would be tempered by =
hands-on work, but there's a bit of a wrinkle. The organizer wants more =
of a spin towards science and industry. Soooo...
Anyone have an idea how many industries use ceramics? I know of a =
few off hand, but wanted to take a bit of a survey. Also, any info you =
would like to pass onto these girls? Feel free to e-mail me off list.

Dave Gayman on tue 26 feb 02

Advanced materials (metal-ceramic composites especially)
Much of the glass industry
Electrical and electronic components
Laboratory equipment -- without ceramics, not much lab science could happen
Sanitary wares
Aerospace parts
Culinary arts (especially those Kyocera knives)
Semiconductor substrates -- no ceramics, no computers
Machinery, especially machinery for semiconductor manufacturing
Automotive -- the sexiest new engines and turbochargers especially,
particularly those used by the cutest race car drivers
Building materials
Housewares -- from upscale enamel pots and pans to refrigerator magnets to
Electrical motors
Textile production
Manufactured gemstones (sapphire, cubic zirconia)
Papermaking -- equipment and clay surfaces on paper
Health and beauty aids, including manufacturing
Food production... like those tiny nozzles that shoot fine streams of
sugar, used to cut cakes and cookies down at the factory...
Medical and surgical equipment and devices
Plastics manufacturing
Radio components -- for example, the antennas in those new global
positioning system (GPS) units
Microwave components
Tool production

Ceramics provide controllable wear rates (from quickly-worn to almost
indestructible), moldability to fit specific and often complex shapes,
fully controllable dielectric properties (from complete insulation to very
low-resistance conductivity), controllable final strength, chemical
inertness -- and any number of other material properties that make ceramics
a part of almost anything we touch.

Ceramics can also be used to make utilitarian hand-made wares, sculpture,
and other works, some of which are capable of the deepest of human
expression. Older, more mellow scientists and engineers sometimes use
these to refresh and repair their psyches -- and younger ones at least can
appreciate a good coffee mug. Even scientists and engineers who remain
cold to these kinds of things are able to use them as examples of useless
activities, giving them a rich feast of conversational fodder and a
hard-won basis for feeling superior.


At 07:00 AM 2/26/2002 -0700, Megan Ratchford wrote:

> Anyone have an idea how many industries use ceramics?

Megan Ratchford on tue 26 feb 02

Tig Says:

Tell your little charges that now, more than ever, are the opportunities
science and technology so open and unbiased. Yes, the math and the
chemistry are tough. So is being a burger flipper, if you do it right!

BRAVO!! That's what I'm going to tell them all right!!
A huge thank you to Tig, Jeff, and Dave for their wonderfully detailed
lists. You've covered a few things I knew about and so many I didn't even
think of!! Thank you!!