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Materials Science and Technology: What do the Students Say?


Guy Whittaker

Washington State University, US
About Guy

A PreCollege Faculty Fellow sponsored by the Science Education Center of Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL), a U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory and is currently finishing hs doctoral program in Curriculum Development, Washington State University, Pullman, WA.

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Materials Science and Technology (MST) is a multidisciplinary course developed to replace much of the dreary, tedious atmosphere of many traditional science classrooms with a stimulating environment conducive to learning. The course uses problem solving as the foundation of its approach to studying science and technology. Students learn problem-solving skills as scientists and technologists do through hands-on experimenting, creating, designing, and building. What are student perceptions of this course? This qualitative study examines the perspectives of students in three Materials Science and Technol- ogy classes at Desert High, a fictitious name for a large public high school in central Washington State. Like many high schools, Desert High is concerned with curriculum, student interest, parent expectations, and other problems that high schools face daily. The local community supports a university extension campus, many industries related to science, technology, scientific research, and agriculture.
How to Cite: Whittaker, G. (1994). Materials Science and Technology: What do the Students Say?. Journal of Technology Education, 5(2), 52–67. DOI:
Published on 22 Mar 1994.
Peer Reviewed


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