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7 Classes to Take in Highschool if You Want to Become a Materials Scientist

January 31, 2023 · 3 min read

A materials scientist analyzes and creates materials, such as metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites, to better understand their characteristics and decide how to use them in diverse applications. Along with it, they enhance and create new materials.

To examine and comprehend the structure, content, and characteristics of materials, materials scientists employ a number of methods, such as computer simulations, spectroscopy, and microscopy. They work in a variety of fields, including construction, energy, healthcare, and the aerospace and electronics sectors. Their research and development frequently results in the production of brand-new items as well as the enhancement of already-existing ones with enhanced usefulness, sustainability, and performance. Additionally, materials scientists are essential in discovering answers to issues with sustainability, environmental impact, and material degradation.

High school students interested in becoming a materials scientist should focus on taking classes in science, math, and engineering to build a strong foundation in these subjects. Some recommended classes include:

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Mathematics (Algebra, Geometry, Calculus)
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering or Design courses
  • Materials Science (if available)

In addition to these core classes, students should also consider taking courses in English, writing, and public speaking to develop strong communication skills, which are important for success in any science-related field.

Extracurricular activities, such as science fairs or engineering competitions, can also provide valuable hands-on experience and demonstrate a student's passion and aptitude for materials science. Pursuing research or internship opportunities in materials science can also be helpful in gaining practical experience and making connections in the field.

6 steps to prepare for a career in materials science

Additionally, students should consider the following tips to help them prepare for a career in materials science:

  • Read widely: Stay informed about current developments in materials science by reading relevant books, articles, and research papers.
  • Get involved in research: Participating in research projects, whether in school or through internships, can provide hands-on experience in the field and help build a student's knowledge and skills.
  • Develop strong laboratory skills: Materials scientists often work in laboratory environments, and having strong laboratory skills will be useful in this field.
  • Seek mentorship: Identifying and working with a mentor who is a materials scientist can provide valuable guidance and insight into the field, as well as help build a student's network.
  • Join professional organizations: Joining professional organizations, such as the Materials Research Society or the American Chemical Society, can provide opportunities for networking and professional development, as well as access to resources and information about the field.
  • Attend conferences and workshops: Attending conferences and workshops related to materials science can provide opportunities to learn from experts in the field, as well as to meet and network with other professionals.

By following these tips and focusing on building a strong foundation in science, math, and engineering, high school students can prepare themselves for a career in materials science and set themselves up for success.

by Liza Sushko

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