AIChE encouraging next generation of engineers

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) is supporting of a variety of initiatives that encourage students to learn more about the rewards of an engineering career. In addition to its ongoing efforts with engineers and undergraduates, the institute also is reaching out to students in grades K-12.
By Plant Engineering Staff March 1, 2009

KEYWORD: AIChE

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) is supporting of a variety of initiatives that encourage students to learn more about the rewards of an engineering career. In addition to its ongoing efforts with engineers and undergraduates, the institute also is reaching out to students in grades K-12.

Kate Ziemer, a professor at Northeastern University , is heading a Web-based pilot program that collects best outreach practices from AIChE student chapters and local section chapters, and then connects volunteers with K-12 interaction opportunities in their areas.

“Our goal in this program is two-fold: first, to get young students excited about science and engineering, with our collegiate members serving as role models,” Ziemer said. “Second, to provide connections…that enable AIChE volunteers to connect with teachers in their local areas and provide…support.”

Two efforts in particular work toward these ends. The annual Chem-E-Car Competition focuses on cultivating young, new thinking on alternative fuels and green energy while putting classroom teaching to practical use. The competition challenges students to test their knowledge by building shoebox-sized cars powered by controlled chemical reactions.

Safety and Chemical Engineering Education (SACHE) is an effort between AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process Safety and universities to provide teaching materials and programs that incorporate safety knowledge into the education of undergraduate students and young practicing engineers.