Glass: Humankind's Most Important Material (and some glasses you can eat!)

Monday, July 19th - Thursday, July 22nd
Application Deadline: EXTENDED THROUGH 6/23

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The Program:
In this institute, students (ages 15-18) will learn all about why glass is so incredibly special. You'll be exposed to:

  • Glass you can make in your house (with parental approval) and then eat after you make fiber from it. Or blow it into the shape of your favorite science teacher!
  • Glass that explodes (do not eat this glass or even put it in your mouth!)
  • Glass that the body changes into BONE if implanted. It's used for healing broken bones. (we will send you some to test in a “simulated body solution” so please do not eat or otherwise implant this stuff into your body!)
  • Metallic glass: if you cool anything fast enough it becomes a glass.
  • All this and it’s taught by the two best Professors of Glass Science in the world. If not the best, they sure are the shortest...

All attendees will receive an “ALMOST UNBREAKABLE GLASS MUG” that we make during the class. Let's experiment, take a few (safe) risks and have some fun!

Alix and Bill


Students in the Glass: Humankind's Most Important Material summer camp can expect to be educated and entertained by two leading experts in the fields of glass and materials science, Alexis Clare and Bill LaCourse. With decades upon decades (nearly 90 years!) of combined teaching experience and personalities to match, there won't be a single dull moment in this four-day institute.

Professor Alexis Clare, PhD

  • PhD University of Reading (UK), Physics
  • expert in fiber optics and optical properties of glass
  • guest researcher at Corning Inc., developing glass fiber, laser amplifiers
  • researcher on specialty glass manufacture in space
  • interests include new and unusual glasses for optical, magnetic and even biological responses, novel ways of processing glasses, 3D printing and spark plasma sintering
  • winner of several student voted teaching awards

Professor William LaCourse, PhD

  • PhD Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Materials Science
  • 12 patents and over 100 publications on Glass Science and Engineering
  • major research interests in "unbreakable glass" and novel uses for recycled glass
  • SUNY Award for Research
  • American Ceramic Society Glass Division Morey Award for Research on Glass
  • plays 4th trumpet in the AU Jazz Ensemble
  • has only 5 fewer teaching awards than Alexis!

You will attend classes and discussions via an online, virtual platform. Further information, including a detailed program schedule and online platform details, will be sent upon acceptance.

The cost is $100. A deposit of $50 is required.

How To Apply:
We are partnering with CampDoc (an online registration program) to better serve our campers and staff. CampDoc offers online registration and an electronic record system for campers. The CampDoc site is secure, encrypted and password protected. Only Alfred University Summer Health Staff will have access to camper information.

To gain access to our online application, please use the following link (we support the current and previous major releases of Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Safari):

Camp Registration Portal (CampDoc)
CampDoc Registration Instructions

Acceptance Next Steps:
The program directors will evaluate all applications and determine who will be accepted. Acceptance and non-acceptance notifications will be sent via email. Once campers are accepted, they will be directed to pay the camp tuition and will be provided with the official schedule and online platform information. Any questions should be directed to Alexis Clare or William LaCourse.

Sign Up NOW!

Alfred University is located in the peaceful village of Alfred in western New York State, where summer days are warm and nights are cool and comfortable. Surrounded by rolling hills and beautiful meadows and valleys, Alfred University is the perfect place to spend an enjoyable week learning more about a favorite subject and meeting other students who share your interests.

Whether considering candidates for admission or financial aid, applicants for employment or the management of its policies and school-administered programs, Alfred University does not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, age, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion or disability. Alfred University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.