Welcome to the ‘Modern Materials’ module which consists of a range of school activities based on the research and development work of Deakin University’s Institute of Frontier Materials (IFM).

So much of our lives are affected by the materials we use, live in, or wear, and these materials have changed drastically over the last 50 years with the development of communications technologies such as mobile phones or tablets, new fabrics including sportswear with carefully engineered properties, lightweight vehicles, and space age technologies such as nanotechnologies and smart materials.

The activities on this site introduce a number of important ideas related to modern materials:

  1. What are ‘modern materials’, where do we find them, and how are they developed?
  2. What do the scientists and engineers and mathematicians at a research and development institute like IFM do, to invent and produce new materials?
  3. What is it like, to be a scientist or engineer working on cutting edge materials?
  4. How should we think about the properties of modern materials, and how do they work?

The content of the site includes

  • an introduction to the nature of modern materials, with some questions to pursue,
  • an introduction to the IFM and a video of some of the researchers that work there,
  • a profile of an IFM PhD researcher, Matt Jennings, and
  • a set of five classroom experimental activities, related to Matt’s work, in which students inquire into the principles underpinning modern material design.

This module was designed as part of the ReMSTEP (Reconceptualising Mathematics and Science Teacher Education Project), in partnership with the ASELL for Schools – Victorian Node project.

The module and activities were developed by a team of Deakin science and education researchers:

  • Russell Tytler (ReMSTEP Project Leader – School of Education)
  • Stuart Palmer (ReMSTEP – Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment – SEBE)
  • Leissa Kelly (ReMSTEP – Project Officer)
  • Peta White (ReMSTEP and ASELL for Schools – School of Education)
  • Kieran Lim (ASELL for Schools Project Leader – School of Life and Environmental Sciences – SEBE)
  • John Long (ASELL for Schools – School of Engineering – SEBE)
  • Ian Bentley (ASELL for Schools – Victorian Node Project Manager)

IFM Building

Recent Posts