Incorporating Hands-on, Inquiry-based Learning Modules into the Chemical Engineering Classroom




As understanding of STEM education pedagogy deepens, traditional lecture-based courses evolve to include new philosophies, such as active learning, project-based learning, and inquiry-based learning (IBL). Additionally, hands-on educational experiences at the early stages of an undergraduate program are seminal in propelling students into the field long-term. This paper discusses the need for IBL and hands-on learning in engineering education and how three faculty at different universities incorporated IBL pedagogy in the classroom.

Author Biographies

Courtney A. Pfluger, Northeastern University

Courtney Pfluger is an Associate Teaching Professor at Northeastern University, specializing in project-based learning. In 2011, Dr. Pfluger began teaching in the First-year Engineering Program where she redesigned the Cornerstone curriculum. In 2017, she moved to the ChE Department where she taught core courses and redesigned the Capstone design course. She has also developed and ran nine Faculty-led, international programs to Brazil focused on Sustainable Energy. She has won several teaching awards from the College, AIChE, and ASEE.

Jennifer R. Weiser, The Cooper Union

Jennifer R. Weiser is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at The Cooper Union specializing in drug delivery, wound healing, and developing new polymeric biomaterials. At Cooper, she teaches courses in Materials Science, Biomaterials, and Drug Delivery. She earned her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell University. She is a member of the AIChE and ASEE ChE Education Divisions. 

Kristine Horvat, University of New Haven

Kristine Horvat is an Assistant Professor and Program Director of Chemical Engineering at the University of New Haven, where she teaches laboratory, thermal-fluid, materials science, and sustainable energy courses. She is engaged in engineering education through presenting educational techniques at AIChE and ASEE conferences and contributing to the Engineering Unleashed network. She earned a B.S. in Chemical and Molecular Engineering and M.S. and PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Stony Brook University.





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