Technology innovation has its fundamental roots in engineering and entrepreneurship. This project developed research on using materials science in community outreach, to provide a team-based, hands-on learning experience that demonstrates what Engineering is and how Engineering and Innovation are relevantly applied to the active industrial sectors of Newfoundland and Labrador, i.e. Energy, Oil and Gas, Oceans, and Wildlife. Using research gathered from high school science teachers from K-12 schools across the province, a hands-on learning tool, a 'portable materials science lab kit' was designed for use in high school science classrooms, in which small groups of students work through interactive laboratory modules demonstrating a specific material in a specific application. This kit uses various types of modern materials, i.e. composites, nanomaterials, and shape memory alloys.
The development of this portable materials science lab kit will facilitate several student-based projects, i.e. on new product development, manufacturing and project management, marketing of innovation, and usability testing. The process of innovation is thus shown from the perspective of using materials science to illustrate the progression of 'scientific concept' to 'design' (invention), to 'entrepreneurship' (commercialization), to 'technological application.'