Since 2008, chemical engineering courses have incorporated outreach into the curriculum, exposing students from local middle and high schools to engineering concepts and opportunities. These courses also give undergraduate students early experience in presenting and designing experiments.
Students enrolled in the Mass and Heat Transfer course at U-M are divided into groups of four and asked to design original experiments that would be suitable for introducing high school students to chemical engineering. These experiments demonstrate a mass or heat transfer principle or concept. To ensure that the experiments are classroom-ready, the design is subject to the following constraints:
At the end of the term, the teams present demonstrations of their experiments to students from Ypsilanti and Detroit.
High school teachers who wish to use these experiments in their classrooms can access a few outstanding student designs in PDFs below.
The outreach component has been extended to the sophomore level material and energy balance course (ChE 230). In this course, students are asked to present a poster summary of a research, manufacturing or design process (in any field/industry) that involves chemical engineering to middle school students. ChE students are required to show a process flow chart in their presentation and identify core/elective courses and key engineering concepts (or skills) needed to work on the process. The overall goal of the activity in this course is to expose middle school students to the broad reach of chemical engineering while introducing ChE sophomores to literature search and the many career opportunities available in chemical engineering.
The ChE 342 outreach program was originally funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (EEC-0824182) to Dr. Eniola-Adefeso.