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Guilt Free Chocolate: Introducing Freshmen To Chemical Engineering

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Novel Classroom Environments

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.599.1 - 7.599.6



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Paper Authors

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Kathryn Hollar

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Mariano Savelski

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Stephanie Farrell

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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Guilt-free Chocolate: Introducing Freshmen to Chemical Engineering

Kathryn A. Hollar, Mariano J. Savelski, and Stephanie Farrell Department of Chemical Engineering Rowan University Glassboro, NJ 08028


Food processing is an excellent topic to introduce early in the engineering curriculum, as students are familiar with many food products but often do not realize that chemical engineers are responsible for many of the processing and packaging steps in this industry. We have developed a hands-on experiment to introduce freshman engineering or high school students to chemical engineering principles and measurements through chocolate coating of cookies. Student groups will melt chocolate and coat commercially-available cookies, then perform several measurements and calculations. This paper details the experimental set-up and analysis of the module and discusses more advanced experiments that can be incorporated throughout the curriculum.


At Rowan University, Engineering freshmen are introduced to engineering principles through a two-course sequence of known as Freshmen Clinics. These clinics, the first two semesters in an innovative eight semester multidisciplinary engineering design and practice, project-oriented course sequence that is a hallmark of the Rowan Engineering program, are common to all engineering majors. The first semester introduces students to all four engineering disciplines represented at Rowan (Chemical, Civil and Environmental, Mechanical, and Electrical and Computer Engineering) and focuses on engineering measurements. In the second semester of the freshmen year, student teams work on reverse engineering of processes or products (beer production, bread making, coffee brewing, electric toothbrush)[1, 2]. This hands-on minds-on approach gets the students excited about engineering. It also helps narrow the gap between a high school level perception of what engineering is and the reality of engineering.

Demonstration of engineering principles and science fundamentals through everyday processes or products engages students more in the learning process. The Chemical Engineering Department at Rowan has successfully used this approach by incorporating the bread-making process, reverse engineering of coffee makers, beer production, and the illustration of chemical engineering principles in the human body into the Chemical Engineering curriculum, particularly at the freshman level [1-4].

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education Main Menu

Hollar, K., & Savelski, M., & Farrell, S. (2002, June), Guilt Free Chocolate: Introducing Freshmen To Chemical Engineering Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10877

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