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You’ve Been Slimed!: Process And Product Design Experiences For Recruitment And Retention Of Chemical And Industrial Engineers

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Course Innovation

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1460.1 - 11.1460.14



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Paper Authors


Karen High Oklahoma State University

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KAREN HIGH earned her B.S. from the University of Michigan in 1985 and her M.S. in 1988 and Ph.D. in 1991 from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. High is an Associate Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering at Oklahoma State University where she has been since 1991. Her main research interests are Sustainable Process Design, Industrial Catalysis, and Multicriteria Decision Making. Other scholarly activities include enhancing creativity in engineering practice and teaching science to education students and professionals.

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Charlene Yauch Oklahoma State University

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CHARLENE A. YAUCH is an assistant professor in the School of Industrial Engineering & Management at Oklahoma State University. She received her M.S. (Sociology, Mfg. Systems Engineering) and Ph.D. (Industrial Engineering) degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.S.I.E. from Purdue University. She is a licensed professional engineer. In addition to research on group dynamics and manufacturing agility, she has taught a graduate course on management of cellular manufacturing systems and undergraduate courses including manufacturing process, ergonomics, and research methods.

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

You’ve Been Slimed!: Process and Product Design Experiences for Recruitment and Retention of Chemical and Industrial Engineers


This paper will compare and contrast the use of a one-day “slime” project as part of a week-long summer program for high school students and the use of the same project as a multi-week project for an orientation class. One of the key project goals was to compare the chemical engineering and industrial engineering disciplines. Pre and post survey assessments were done and will be discussed.

In the summer of 2005, a week-long academy, Reaching Engineering and Architecture Career Heights, was hosted by the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. A Chemical Engineering/Industrial Engineering six-hour module was a part of this academy. During this module, the students worked on product and process design concepts related to the manufacturing of slime. The students also generated new products that used slime as a base.

In the fall of 2005, a freshman-level engineering orientation class worked on the project in a multi-week venue. The orientation course was focused on chemical engineering, but comparisons to industrial engineering were made. The paper will compare student surveys and outcomes for the slime project for high school students versus college freshmen.

Introduction and Background

Recruitment and retention of engineering students have become increasingly important. Trends in engineering enrollment show that beyond the enrollment highs of the 1980s, the numbers of students entering and remaining in the field have either decreased or remained constant1. Positive perspectives of engineering help to increase the persistence of students studying engineering2.

Multidisciplinary approaches have been used recently as a method to increase both recruitment and retention3. Froyd and Ohland state that the multidisciplinary approach improves retention by making explicit connections to engineering, engineering practice and engineering careers. Second, it allows students to see connections between their mathematics and science courses and their future careers in engineering. Third, faculty would also like the students to better apply the introductory math and science courses3.

To aid recruitment and retention, the authors have developed a multidisciplinary workshop, which has been utilized for a summer recruitment academy and a fall orientation to engineering course. These activities build on the past activities and experiences of the authors4,5 with the REACH academy and orientation courses.

High, K., & Yauch, C. (2006, June), You’ve Been Slimed!: Process And Product Design Experiences For Recruitment And Retention Of Chemical And Industrial Engineers Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1114

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