Introducing Bioprocess Engineering for K-12 Students
Eric L. Maase, Chemical Engineering Department, Lafayette College, Acopian Engineering Center Rm 268, 740 High St., Easton, PA 18042 and Sundararajan V. Madihally, School of Chemical Engineering, Oklahoma State University, 423 Engineering North, Stillwater, OK 74078.
REACH (Reaching Engineering and Architectural Career Heights) is a weeklong summer academy outreach program for students interested in engineering, architecture, or technology. Through module-based instruction, students are introduced to various engineering fields. One module introduces biomedical/biochemical engineering principles and practice. The field is introduced by a presentation of work and opportunity in the field, a tour of a working engineering laboratory, and a hands-on experimental study tailored for the students. The principle presentation presents primary topics along with secondary investigations delving into scientific and engineering aspects within the field. All of the topics incorporate aspects designed to draw on the audience's own experiences with bioengineering products, processes, and research that may have affected or influenced their lives. The approach taken in presenting biochemical/biomedical engineering is described along with the effectiveness of the approach. Pre- and post-assessment surveys found that the students were interested in the materials presented, actively involved in the experimental procedure, and the module successfully increased the students interest in the field of biochemical/biomedical engineering.