Algae for STEM Education

Kauser Jahan, Stephanie Farrell, Ying Tang, Cheryl A. Bodnar, C. Stewart Slater, Mariano Javier Savelski, Parth Bhavsar, Angela D. Wenger, Patricia Lynn Hurley, Roisin Breen, Demond S. Miller, Kara Ieva Ieva, Megan Casey Mittenzwei

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In 2008, a list of engineering challenges put forth by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) identified the need for technological innovations for global progress. These challenges focused on education, energy, infrastructure, clean water, climate change, and much more. In an effort to help foster a generation of engineers that are more aware of their role in making the world a better place, a partnership was formed with the Adventure Aquarium Center for Aquatic Sciences (CAS). Funded by the National Science Foundation, the goal of this partnership was to form a multidisciplinary engineering team focused on adapting current experiments to more environmentally conscious alternatives. These experiments have begun to be implemented in freshman engineering courses, the STEM Academy at Glassboro High School, and K-12 outreach programs. Ultimately, the purpose of these experiments is to reduce environmental impact by replacing current environmental processes with algae based alternatives. By partnering with the CAS, the University gained access to its algae production facility, a powerful tool in researching the many uses of algae. Algae-based experiments and hands-on activities in the fields of water resources engineering, environmental engineering, cosmetics, and nutrition have been developed. By focusing on these fields, the positive impact that algae can have on issues faced by developing nations around the world was highlighted. Gas transfer and coagulation flocculation experiments have been used to research the sustainability of algae use in the water treatment process, with a focus on the feasibility of replacing current processes with algae based alternatives. Calorimeter tests have been conducted to research the potential nutritional benefit of algae based products. Exposure to social and environmental injustices along with ethics case studies are also an integral part of the project. Ultimately, the purpose of this project is to teach a generation of future engineers the impact that algae can have on solving humanitarian issues around the world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 24 2017
Event124th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Columbus, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2017Jun 28 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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