How Chemical Engineering Students Feel About Biology




Chemical engineering students are typically required to take biology courses and many pursue biotechnology related careers. However, it is unknown what emotions students have toward biology that can influence curricular design. We surveyed 246 students and found that 74.6% have overall positive emotions toward biology because they find biology interesting or beneficial to humanity. Students had negative emotions because of a poor prior course experience or because of their belief that that biology requires too much memorization.

Author Biographies

Justin F. Shaffer, Colorado School of Mines

Justin F. Shaffer is a Teaching Associate Professor in Chemical and Biological Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. He teaches material and energy balances, introductory thermodynamics, introductory biology, and anatomy and physiology. His research focuses on the efficacy of components of high structure courses and engineering students’attitudes towards biology.

Jordan Lopez, Colorado School of Mines

Jordan Lopez was a mechanical engineering student at the Colorado School of Mines. He graduated in December of 2020 and is currently employed in the biotechnology industry.