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The Making Materials Matter Project was launched in 2017. For this pilot year it ran as a joint venture between Oxford Materials and Cambridge Materials with much appreciated support from The Worshipful Company of Ironmongers. In 2018 Imperial College Materials joined the pilot group.

The project engages with Yr8 students and teachers of science from five UK state schools with the aims of enriching the science curriculum, increasing awareness of Materials Science and supporting teachers in raising aspirations and inspiring their students to pursue further study of the physical sciences.

Making Materials Matter is centred on a Student Extended Investigation which culminates in both a Student Conference and a separate Science Teachers’ Conference.

The student investigations are designed and supported jointly by Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial Materials to draw links between the school curriculum and cutting-edge materials science. Students work in small groups to carry out their investigation over a six-month period with remote support offered by our university student ambassadors. This concludes with findings from their projects being presented at a student conference in Oxford. The inaugural student conference was held in May 2017 and was generously hosted by St John’s College, Oxford, with further support from Mansfield, St Anne’s and St Catherine’s Colleges (Oxford).

The science teachers’ conference is informed by the outcomes of the student investigations and makes available all resources developed. The inaugural Science Teachers Conference was generously hosted by the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers at Ironmongers’ Hall in London. Plenary and keynote talks were given respectively by Professor Mark Miodownik of University College London and Professor Becky Parker of The Institute for Research in Schools. In 2018, in addition the conference will include CPD workshops enabling teachers to link curriculum content to materials science as well as enhancing networking opportunities.

Find out what the students, teachers and ambassadors thought about the first year of the project by watching the video clip below:


Making Materials Matter 2017 Teachers Conference
A report on the conference held at Ironmonger’s Hall on 17th May 2017

An exciting conference which provided opportunities to network with colleagues and learn more about the subject of Materials Science. The conference was funded by The Ironmongers Company and concludes a 3-month KS3 Materials Science project run collaboratively by Oxford & Cambridge Universities. The day included talks on Materials Science linked to the curriculum, discussion of the project going forward and mini-presentations from students involved in the project. Resources for use by teachers of science were developed and discussed.