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Chemical Engineering for Middle School Girls (Resource Exchange)

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Pre-college Engineering Education Division Technical Session 12

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors

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Ayse Asatekin Tufts University

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Isadora Shamah Tufts University

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Abigail Anne Klotz


Merredith D. Portsmore Tufts University

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Dr. Merredith Portsmore is the Director for Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach ( Merredith received all four of her degrees from Tufts (B.A. English, B.S. Mechanical Engineering, M.A. Education, PhD in Engineering Education). Her research interests focus on how children engage in designing and constructing solutions to engineering design problems and evaluating students’ design artifacts. Her outreach work focuses on creating resources for K-12 educators to support engineering education in the classroom. She is also the founder of STOMP (, ( and the Teacher Engineering Education Program (

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Michael Forte Tufts University


Russell Lincoln Shute

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I am a Technology Education teacher, who teaches classes that introduce students to engineering concepts, at Silver Lake Regional High School, in Kingston, MA. I have a Bachelors from University of Rochester in Chemical Engineering and a Masters in STEM Education from Tufts University.

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As part of an NSF CAREER project [blinded] , [blinded university] developed a one-week chemical engineering summer workshop targeted at middle school girls with the goal of bolstering participation and interest in the field by presenting chemical engineering as a creative and dynamic field. This paper will present a spherification activity which introduces chemical reactions, membranes, resource management, engineering design, and more. Furthermore, links to the full set of activities developed for the week that can be used individually or collectively are provided. In the summer program, students engage in experiments providing simplified background knowledge on foreign material such as chemical reactions, polymer morphology, separations, and thermodynamics. The students then work on hands-on activities to solve engineering design problems using learned information. For the final activity, students collaboratively design a process to scale up a spherification experiment

Asatekin, A., & Shamah, I., & Klotz, A. A., & Portsmore, M. D., & Forte, M., & Shute, R. L. (2020, June), Chemical Engineering for Middle School Girls (Resource Exchange) Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34278

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