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April 26th, 2013
Recently, AIChE student chapter members at Lehigh University visited Broughal Middle School to share the world of chemistry and engineering through demonstrations with four eighth-grade science classes. Sponsored through a grant from ExxonMobil, the program's goal was to use small-scale experiments to help children understand how chemical engineers apply the same concepts on a larger scale in industry. Among the experiments was one that allowed the children to create their own silly putty, with the help of the AIChE student volunteers. The Lehigh University paper (see full article here) covered the event and shared quotes from Sean Hoenig, '14, who discussed the aims and importance of the program, saying, “We felt it was important to extend our knowledge and enthusiasm to them so that we'll continually have a next generation of STEM professionals." Fellow student chapter member Samantha Schmidt, ’13, agreed, adding that student chapter members “wanted the students to walk away with a better understanding of STEM fields and chemical engineering, in particular. We also wanted to learn from the students through their interactions and questions,” she said. “Teaching is the best way to learn.” The program excited the eighth-graders about science and engineering, and was rewarding for the student chapter members.