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WCHS students dive into the science of glass

WCHS students dive into the science of glass

Since the start of the year, students in Jody Christy’s Material Science classes at Westerville Central High School have been building their base understanding on the topic, covering crystal structures, atomic bonding and the chemistry behind what’s happening in a variety of materials. 

On Wednesday, they got a closer look into one of the materials they’re studying: glass. As part of the Glass Learning Opportunity Workshop (GLOW), they explored the science behind hot glass at Glass Axis, a public access glass art facility and gallery in Franklinton.

The visit also featured a panel discussion with researchers, engineers and professionals in the material science field where students touched on topics they will explore later in the year and learned about possible careers in the material science industry.

“We can help them understand how they can use it, not just for art by science and technology,” said Marcus Fish, director of development and industry relations with the Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation. The foundation organized the GLOW field trip. 

“Hopefully students can see themselves in these roles that are really available. There is a huge demand in the ceramic and materials world for workers at every level.” 

About 80 WCHS students attended the workshop where volunteers from Alfred University, Ohio State University and Missouri University of Science and Technology served as panelists or hosted hands-on experiments. A glass artist from Glass Axis showed students the process of creating a glass vase, from the raw materials to hand-blowing the glass into a preferred shape. 

With four sections of Material Science at WCHS, it’s been a challenge to host a field trip for all of her students, Christy said. The GLOW field trip aligns seamlessly with the topics and experiments she covers in class such as blowing bubbles with glass and making fiber optics. 

“What is cool is that they are talking about things we haven’t learned yet,” she said. “I’m hoping it’s getting them a little more excited about material science. It’s my goal.” 

A grant from the Westerville Fund of the Columbus Foundation provided financial support for the field trip.

  • Westerville Central High School
  • Westerville City Schools

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