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Feature: Food-Safety Engineering

food safety techsRecent headlines about tainted cantaloupe are grim reminders that food is not always as safe as it looks or tastes. Despite a host of high-tech efforts, E. coli and other food-borne illnesses kill thousands of Americans each year. Now, researchers in the emerging field of food-safety engineering are developing ways to protect what we eat, from farm to table. Call it the Food Safety-Engineering Network.

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Lesson: Guilt-Free Chocolate

Making ChocolateIn this hands-on activity designed to teach chemical-engineering principles to freshman engineering students at Rowan University, teams of high school students will melt chocolate and coat commercially available cookies, then perform several measurements and calculations. They then will write a lab report that includes nutritional labeling and recommendations for improving the chocolate-coating process.

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After School Engineering, Purdue U., Fall 2010 – Spring 2011

purdue

Purdue University’s “Innovation 2 Reality” (I2R) features three FREE 5-week after-school programs for 6th-8th grade students in Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 focused on the themes: Engineering and Our Changing Climate (Oct. 17 – Nov. 10), Edible Engineering (Jan. 13 – Feb. 10), and The Energy Game (Feb. 8-March 8 ) The programs offer a combination of faculty guest speakers, lab tours and hands-on engineering activities.

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Feature: Packaged for the Classroom

Juice BoxesFood processing requires a lot of engineering, from developing farm equipment to the automated baking and mixing machines used in prepared desserts. One of the most inventive stages comes toward the end, when the food is packaged. Johannah Frueh, a science teacher at Orange Charter School in Hillsborough, North Carolina, has incorporated the engineering behind designing and making food packaging into her seventh and eighth grade elective lab classes.

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