Stevenson science teacher reviews materials at workshop

STERLING HEIGHTS — A Stevenson High School science teacher took some summer school of his own this month at a Detroit workshop to guarantee that he has the right stuff to teach lessons about materials science.

Stevenson’s Curtis Davis joined other metro Detroit educators at a July 9-13 ASM Materials Science Camp for Teachers at Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow’s lab in Detroit. According to organizers, materials science knowledge is key for success in manufacturing.

Davis said the workshop covered several different areas within materials science, including metals, composites and polymers. Experiments in corrosion and reactivity were also done to inspire the teachers.

“It’s a lot of chemistry-based (lessons), dealing with the materials that we use every day,” he said.

Davis explained some of the experiments and activities that he got involved in. He said he was able to forge and melt tin into different molds.

“Mine was an arrowhead,” he said. “Some people made ‘Star Wars’ figurines.”

He also described an activity where he put copper sulfate into a test tube with water and a nail.

“Let it sit overnight, (and) you actually get crystals that start to form in the solution,” he said.

Davis said Stevenson Principal Steven Pfannes asked him to attend the workshop. The reason Davis went is to prepare to become the second-year science teacher for the Stevenson MADE program.

“The plan for me is to take what I’m learning here and incorporate it into my chemistry classroom that I’m teaching next year,” Davis said.

Stevenson MADE — also known as the Stevenson Center for Manufacturing, Automation, Design and Engineering —  will begin at Stevenson this fall. It will equip high schoolers who want a future career in tech-based industries through specialized instruction and partnerships with local companies.

In a video, UCS Superintendent Christine Johns said 90 students will be involved with Stevenson MADE, and she described how teachers will be prepared for the new academy program.

“From the curriculum side, our teachers are already training for design thinking. It will be problem-based learning,” Johns said. “And then students will be able to have experiences in welding and mechanical design and (computer numerical control). But they will then, as they move into 10th grade, be able to declare a major and specialize — all doing this in partnership with businesses.”

Find out more about Stevenson MADE by visiting or by calling (586) 797-1900. For more online information about Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow, visit