The Soup Factory


  • Margot Vigeant Bucknell University



In the last century, when I was a graduate student, my friend Jenny and I volunteered at a local elementary school by providing STEM enrichment sessions once a week. We ran through the standard outreach activities - playing with the non-Newtonian-ness of water and cornstarch[1]*; cross-linking classroom glue; designing “safety” suits so an egg could survive being dropped from the jungle gym……. All manner of fun engineering and science activities that are appropriate and educational for 5-7 year old kids. We were well into our second year of volunteering when it struck us that we’d done lots of things that were pieces of chemical engineering - polymer science, fluid mechanics, engineering design - but nothing that actually was chemical engineering (had the AIChE K-12 resources existed at the time, we absolutely would have [2]). But as they did not, we were on our own to find a way to convey the idea that our profession is the one where we design, operate, improve, and maintain processes for chemical transformation of raw materials into finished products! 

Author Biography

Margot Vigeant, Bucknell University

Professor of Chemical Engineering





Food For Thought