Teaching STEM through Pop Culture and the Real World

Whether you’re teaching virtually, working with limited resources, or wish your students would be more excited about STEM, this free professional development opportunity is for you. Hear from scientists with academic and industry experience who will discuss their work, the path that led them to their career, and examples of how you can teach STEM topics with affordable household items such as markers, marbles, and disposable cookie sheets. The webinar recording also includes the question and answer session in which our volunteer scientists answered questions from attendees.

What You Can Expect

  • Use superheroes to teach the periodic table and to discuss cutting edge scientific advancements
  • Replicate industrial experiments using affordable household items
  • Get an overview of the free Materials Explorers™ resources available to educators
  • Have your questions answered in an interactive Q&A session with our expert scientists and engineers
  • Discuss potential career pathways in STEM


Here’s what you can expect from the webinar.
  • Introduction: Welcome and brief overview of materials science and of resources available through Materials Explorers™.
  • Guest Instructor: Suveen Mathaudhu, Chair of Materials Science and Engineering at University of California Riverside will use a discussion of superheroes to illustrate how pop culture references can help teach materials and material properties.
  • Guest Instructor: Daniel Bryant, formerly of Arconic, shows how household goods can be used to recreate real industrial tests.
  • Careers in materials science and engineering: A discussion of the many avenues to a career in STEM and resources for building students’ awareness.
  • Open Question & Answer Session: Attendee questions answered by webinar instructors.

About the Instructors

Suveen Mathaudhu

Suveen Mathaudhu
Chair, Materials Science and Engineering, University of California Riverside

Suveen Mathaudhu serves as the Chair of the Materials Science and Engineering Program at UC Riverside, and also a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department. He studies the underpinning mechanisms that will make metallic materials and composites lighter and stronger. He concurrently has a joint appointment as Chief Scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in the Energy and Environment Directorate. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University and subsequently served as an ORISE post-doctoral Fellow and then a Staff Scientist and Program Manager at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and U.S. Army Research Laboratory, respectively. Mathaudhu is in the 2021 Class of TMS Brimacombe Medalists, a 2019 Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE) awardee, a 2016 NSF CAREER awardee, and received the 2014 Norm Augustine Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Communications from the American Association of Engineering Societies.

J. Daniel Bryant

J. Daniel Bryant
President, Bryant Metallurgical & IP Consulting Services


Daniel Bryant retired as Research Fellow at Arconic Technology Center, where he headed multiple programs dedicated to the development of aluminum alloys. Bryant earned his bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Virginia in 1979, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in materials science (also at the University of Virginia), completing his studies 1986.

Bryant has a broad range of experience in the sciences. He worked as a Physics lecturer in Cameroon, West Africa in service to the Peace Corps, and was an adjunct professor at Loyola College, Johns Hopkins University and Penn State after earning his advanced degrees. His industrial research work has consistently been guided by an interest in materials processing and new product development. In 1992, he joined Reynolds Metal where his research studies in precipitation and phase transformations lead to the adoption of new processing methods for automotive body sheet alloys.

As a manager, inventor, and patent agent, he is interested in the issues arising at the confluence of business, technology, and intellectual property strategy, and how these issues can impact new product development. Bryant has authored over 30 patents and publications.

Ashley Bohnert

Ashley Bohnert


Ashley Bohnert leads the day-to-day operations of the Materials Explorers™ program through curriculum and content development, marketing of the program, volunteer co-ordination, and teacher outreach. In supporting Materials Explorers™ she draws on her experience as a former high school teacher and private tutor in Trinidad & Tobago. Bohnert received her B.A. (hons) from the University of Notre Dame and her M.A. (dist) in English Studies from Queen Mary, University of London. During her time in England, she worked directly with secondary students in an underserved community outside of London to reduce barriers to graduation and establish clear career paths.

Sponsored By

This free webinar is provided through a grant to the TMS Foundation from ARCONIC Foundation.

The Materials Explorers™ program was developed by The Minerals, Metals, & Materials Society.

For More Information

Questions? Contact TMS Meeting Services for assistance.

For additional information on the Materials Explorers™ program contact Materials Explorers.