The Making Materials Matter Outreach Project


MMM Student Conference 2018

MMM Student Conference 2018

The Making Materials Matter Project was launched in 2017. For this pilot year it ran as a joint venture between Oxford Materials and Cambridge Materials with much appreciated support from The Worshipful Company of Ironmongers. We are now in our 4th year and are delighted to have Imperial College Materials and Sheffield Materials involved.

The project

The project engages with Yr8 students and teachers of science from ten UK state schools with the aims of enriching the science curriculum, increasing awareness of Materials Science and supporting teachers in raising aspirations and inspiring their students to pursue further study of the physical sciences. Follow up events are offered to all students involved throughout their secondary education.

Making Materials Matter is centred on a Student Extended Investigation which culminates in both a Student Conference and a separate Science Teachers’ Conference.

MMM Student Conference 2018

MMM Student Conference 2018

The student investigations are designed and supported jointly by Oxford, Cambridge, Sheffield and Imperial Materials to draw links between the school curriculum and cutting-edge materials science. Students work in small groups to carry out their investigation over a four-month period with remote support offered by our university student ambassadors. This concludes with findings from their projects being presented at a student conference in Oxford. The student conference is held in May/June and previous conferences have been generously hosted by St John’s College, Oxford and The Ashmolean Museum with further support from Mansfield, St Anne’s and St Catherine’s Colleges.

The science teachers’ conference is informed by the outcomes of the student investigations and makes available all resources developed. The Science Teachers Conference is generously hosted by the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers at Ironmongers’ Hall in London. Programmes from previous conferences can be viewed under past events.

A recent article in School Science Review (Issue 374 p24) provides further information on the MMM project following our workshop at the ASE 2019 annual Teachers Conference.


We aim to share all resources developed on the project with Teachers and provide the opportunity to try out all practical activities at our annual Science Teachers Conference.   Here are some resource sheets outlining some practical investigations of materials.

Find out what the students, teachers and ambassadors thought about the first year of the project by watching the video clip below: