(768a) Introducing Biomaterial Concepts Through Pharma- and Cosmeceuticals | AIChE

(768a) Introducing Biomaterial Concepts Through Pharma- and Cosmeceuticals


Fiegel, J. - Presenter, University of Iowa

The early experiences of children are extremely important for their later development. Research indicates that childhood experiences may influence future personality traits, including traits that affect educational and occupational choices.  The age at which students determine their interest in science is in the adolescence years (~10-14 or earlier).  Therefore, students who lack early exposure to positive science experiences may be at risk of developing a negative interest toward learning science.  This is particularly critical for girls in technology-driven fields, who tend to express more negative views of physical sciences than boys and therefore have a lower likelihood of choosing careers in STEM fields.

To help address this issue, a week-long day camp, PharmCamp, was developed to enable middle school girls to make informed decisions about careers in science and engineering.  The camp aims to help middle school girls see that science and engineering professions are exciting and rewarding and that scientists and engineers have a positive impact on society.  The focus of the camp is on hands-on experience with engineering design and product development, specifically with pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.  Laboratory exercises, brainstorming activities, and group discussion help the students learn about the design and use of common dosage forms (solid, semi-solid and liquid). For example, hands-on exercises in making lip balm and handcream illustrate the requirements for making semi-solids.  Brainstorming sessions focus on identifying important design properties for product development (appealing smell, spreadability, etc.) and how one's choice of materials affects the final product.