Shaping Students into Future Leaders

Over the last few years, the Fuels and Petrochemicals Division has hosted annual K-12 OutReach Programs in San Antonio, New Orleans, Austin and Chicago. They have touched the lives of thousands of high school and middle school students. This year’s program, supported by the AIChE Foundation, took place during the 2016 AIChE Spring Meeting at Rice University and at Alsik High School in Houston. An OutReach event was also conducted in April at Tulane University for middle school and high school students. This spring over 900 students participated in the program.

The K-12 OutReach Program is intended to encourage students to stay in school and to study math and science. The program introduces high school and middle school students to chemical engineering and other engineering professions. The program provides the students with the opportunity to interact with industry professionals and includes presentations from keynote speakers, such as NASA Astronaut Al Sacco and other practicing engineers from a variety of industries. The students are engaged with current topics of interest, from general engineering practices to developments in green energy projects. Students came away from the program with an understanding of what engineering is, what chemical engineers in particular do, how engineers touch our lives and impact our world, and how they can pursue a career in engineering.

Future K-12 OutReach events will be held in Chicago (Harper College) in November 2016, New Orleans (Tulane University) January 2017, and at the AIChE Spring Meeting in San Antonio in March 2017.

Programs that invest in STEM education are essential to increasing interest, awareness, and excitement for science and engineering in a diverse group of students, ensuring the pipeline of engineers remains filled.

The AIChE Foundation is pleased to partner with the Fuels and Petrochemicals Division in their efforts to excite young people about chemical engineering and shape thousands of students into future leaders.