AIChE Holds 1st K-12 STEM Showcase
On Sunday, November 10, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers hosted the first ever AIChE K-12 STEM Showcase at their Annual Meeting in Orlando, bringing over 150 local students, parents, and teachers on site to interact with and learn from STEM modules.
The event was created by Dr. Lucas Landherr, Associate Teaching Professor of Chemical Engineering at Northeastern. First proposed almost two years ago, Landherr was able to secure funding from the AIChE Foundation for the event, built around the 1st AIChE K-12 STEM Outreach Competition, and worked with a team of volunteers to make the event a reality.
Sixteen teams of student and professional AIChE members, both national and international, developed K-12 modules for the competition focusing on topics ranging from fluorescent polymers to water remediation to power generation. The modules were reviewed for originality, technical content, safety, and accessibility.
The entire event was a major success, helping to launch a re-established K-12 Outreach Committee with AIChE. The committee will support all current outreach being conducted by individuals, student chapters, local sections, and committees, as well as build bridges to other communities to inspire further outreach efforts. As the current chair of AIChE’s Societal Impact Operating Council, Landherr has been working to build the K-12 Committee as a strong part of AIChE’s efforts with local communities.
The 2nd AIChE K-12 STEM Showcase event is already being planned for the next Annual Meeting in San Francisco in 2020. Landherr is looking forward to working on the event again, and hopes the Northeastern student chapter of AIChE will be a finalist in the competition next year.
More information about the event and AIChE’s K-12 Community can be found at www.aiche.org/k12.