Recently, Gary Smay presented a guest lecture at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania on the topic of “Basic aspects of glass as a material when used to manufacture glass containers.” Gary was invited to participate in a newly developed chemistry course built around “The Science and Art of Glass.” The course was designed to provide first year students an opportunity to explore some real-world applications for the course material while striving to improve critical thinking skills.
“First year seminar courses help students develop essential academic skills and gain a sense of community,” said Theresa Thewes, PhD, Department of Chemistry at Edinboro. “The discussion of recycling and problems with post-consumer cullet supported those goals.”
In regards to the contribution made by Gary Smay, Thewes further explained, “He made the study of glass relevant to these freshmen students. His discussion of cathedral windows and the physical properties of glass led beautifully to an upcoming discussion of the arrangements of the atoms in glass. He helped to build the language for a deeper understanding of the course content. His examples (like adding selenium to remove the iron tinge) were useful in emphasizing the important role that chemistry plays in solving consumer problems. There is no substitute for ‘real world’ experience.”
Gary is no stranger to the classroom. Although semi-retired, he has been conducting training seminars for American Glass Research for over 40 years. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and his Masters Degree in Polymer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.