(15e) Engaging High School Students In Advanced Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Careers | AIChE

(15e) Engaging High School Students In Advanced Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Careers


Barr, C. J. - Presenter, University of Toledo
HajIbrahim, A. - Presenter, Central Catholic High School
Schall, C. - Presenter, University of Toledo
Stepien, C. - Presenter, University of Toledo

With the impending retirement of many engineers and scientists in the near future and the low matriculation of newly gradated domestic high school students into advanced STEM education, there is a critical need to educate and motivate high school students to pursue entry into these fields.  As part of this endeavor, a National Science Foundation GK-12 grant titled “Graduate Teaching Fellows in STEM High School Education: An Environmental Science Learning Community at the Land-Lake Ecosystem Interface” at the University of Toledo’s Lake Erie Center was formed.  This program pairs graduate students in STEM disciplines with teachers from local high schools.  Graduate student fellows exchange their STEM knowledge and research experience through high school classroom and field exercises to exchange teaching strategies with paired teachers, mentor high school students in the development of STEM skills and potential for STEM careers, and to enable high school teachers to gain professional development and experience in inquiry-based state-of-the-art science research.

Educational opportunities in chemistry and chemical engineering have been improved through development and execution of a variety of outreach activities.  These educational opportunities are based around newly developed activities and demonstrations as well as advanced research experiences.  These activities and demonstrations incorporate environmental, analytical, and biological chemistry in general as well as in specific research-based examples currently being examined at the University of Toledo.  A summary of activities and outcomes is presented.  Surveys presented to the students before and after student fellow interaction with the high school students provided a metric for examination of these outreach activities.