Biomaterials Education Challenge

Biomaterials Education Challenge 

The Biomaterials Education Challenge will encourage SFB student chapters and other student clubs or groups to develop innovative and practical approaches to biomaterials education. Student teams will be challenged to develop an educational module for middle school (6th-8th grade) science classes. Each educational module will demonstrate fundamental biomaterials concepts, with scientific principles that are understandable to a middle school audience and designed for a 45 minute class period. The education modules should have hands-on components, should be easily incorporated to typical middle school science courses, and should have materials easily obtained with clear educational and learning objectives. Winners will be identified based on their potential for educational impact, and judges will emphasize innovation, practicality, and likelihood of widespread adoption and dissemination of the educational projects. The goals of this competition are to improve widespread understanding of biomaterials-related science and careers in the middle school population; to encourage SFB student chapters to participate in K-8 outreach efforts; and to reward the communication skills and creativity of the next generation of biomaterials researchers and educators.



A letter of intent to compete in the 2017 Biomaterials Education Challenge will be due to SFB offices by March 14, 2017. The letter should include a brief abstract (<200 words) describing the proposed educational module and the names of team members, team advisors and affiliation with SFB student chapter if available. Each project team will present their Biomaterials Education module during a special session at the 2017 SFB Annual Meeting. Projects will be presented in a poster presentation along with a brief demonstration of hands-on teaching materials/activities.


•       The module must include some hands-on and/or web-based activity that students complete.

•       The age range and group size of the audience must be in the middle school (grade 6th -8th) range.

•       Specific learning objectives should be articulated during the presentation.

•       A complete budget and potential vendor list and/or contact information for supplies and materials should be supplied with the presentation. Affordability is an important criteria.

•       College students or school teachers should be capable of giving the presentation and supervising the associated activities.

•       The presentation/activities should not violate any copyright provisions.

•       The presentation/activities should be safe, effective, educational… and hopefully, fun.

•       It is not required, but desirable, to include results/evaluations from conducting the activities with middle school children.

•       It is not required, but desirable, to include a grade-appropriate science teacher as an advisor to the competing teams.

Individual or team entries are allowed.  No more than five students per team. No more than two student teams per SFB student chapter or departmental program. The Society for Biomaterials reserves the right to distribute ideas/materials from winning projects to SFB student chapters, for use in widespread K-8 outreach. 

Judging and Awards

Educational modules will be judged by educators across a spectrum of biomaterials education, including innovative K-12 educators and university professors, and will be overseen by the SFB Education and Professional Development Committee. There will be designated time for oral presenters to interact with the judges.  The judges will evaluate the educational modules and also provide constructive feedback to encourage adoption and dissemination. Each module will be evaluated by three separate judges, and the student chapter with the project judged to have the greatest potential for educational impact will be awarded $2000. Second and third place chapters will receive $1500 and $500 respectively. There will also be a $500 “people’s choice” award. Each of the projects will be featured in a 2017 issue of the Biomaterials Forum and featured on the Society for Biomaterials website.

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