ChBE in the Community

Get involved in an outreach program below!

 Pinhead Punk Science demoMiddle school students at the Science and Engineering Field DayJanet deGrazia science demonstration



Pinhead Institute

Pinhead Institute is a Smithsonian Affiliate based in Telluride, Colorado, that strives to promote science-education both locally & globally.  An international network of the world's leading scientists supports our many educational programs providing unparalleled opportunity to high-level scientific education in rural Colorado.


Pinhead Institute educates and inspires children and adults in the greater Telluride region about the wonders of science and technology.

How we do this:

We do this through engaging programs, direct interaction with scientists, and unique research centered internship experiences.

Contact: Amy Laubenstein

Pinhead Punk Science demoBaking soda and vinegar volcanoPinhead Punk Science demo

At the Pinhead Punk Science course at Telluride High School, post-doc Justine Roberts shows students (a) how to make slime, (b) how to liven up a volcano using baking soda and vinegar, and (c) how to make a smoke bomb.

Janet deGrazia science demonstrationJanet deGrazia science demonstration
Senior Instructor Janet deGrazia demonstrates how to obtain unexpected reactions using some common household items at the Pinhead Punk Science course at Telluride High School.

Pinhead Punk Science demoPinhead Punk Science demoPinhead Punk Science demoProfessor Hans Funke at the Pinhead Punk Science course.


Engineers Without Borders-USA CU Boulder Chapter

Engineers Without Borders (EWB) USA CU currently has three programs working in Nepal, Peru, and Rwanda. Collaborative teams of undergraduates, graduate students, and professional mentors work with under served communities to develop clean water, sanitation, construction, energy, and agricultural projects. Projects focus on sustainable community development and student professional growth.

AP Preparation Tutoring Program

The Advanced Placement Preparation (APP) program provides educational and financial support to motivated high school students preparing for the AP exams in various STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) subjects.  Primarily, this is achieved through weekly tutoring sessions at Skyline High School in Longmont, CO. During these weekly sessions, volunteer graduate student tutors work with small groups (3-5) of high school students to study the topic of the week. Averaged over the previous four years of the program, 24 graduate students from the departments of Chemical Engineering, Chemistry/Biochemistry, and Mechanical Engineering, among others, work closely with 24 High School student participants, including 11 girls and 12 students from ethnic minorities. Of those reporting their scores on Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus AP exams, 80% received a score of 3 or better. At the inception of the program in 2009, conversations with teachers revealed that some families were unable to pay the AP exam fee, preventing otherwise qualified students from taking the exam. Thus, APP decided to use some of its funding to pay exam fees for students who have attended at least 80% of the APP tutoring sessions.
Contact: Katie Lewis

Earth Explorers
6th grade program

Earth Explorers is in the process of recruiting scientists for the Fall 2013 semester at their pilot school in Longmont, CO. The program is a quarter long class, for the Fall 2013 semester there are two quarters. Each quarter there are 3 sessions where scientists will work directly with their team. If a scientist wishes to sign up for both quarters there will be six sessions, 3 with one team and 3 with another. Ideally, a scientist will be a graduate student, or career scientist, since they will explore a topic of research with the students. One of the sessions will consist of a table top experiment exhibiting the scientist's interests, and helping the students learn the scientific method.

8th grade program

Also for the Fall 2013 semester, Earth Explorers is recruiting undergraduates or graduate students for science and video mentors. Mentors will assist 8th graders in creating a video about a career scientist and their work. Mentors would work with student either at Trail Ridge Middle School (TRMS), or West View Middle School, both in Longmont, CO.

Mentors would attend during the semester:

  • 2 after school sessions at the school
  • 2 or 3 field trips
    • Note: For TRMS, teams (and mentors) are traveling to the Denver Museum of Nature and science for the “Meet Your Scientist and Mentor Session” while the WVMS group will have that session at their school.
    • Both sessions will be during after school hours.
  • 4 Saturday Workshops
  • 1 Screening

Contact: Carolyn Wiley


American Chemical Society (ACS) Science Coaches

ACS Science Coaches are chemistry professionals who share their expertise and enthusiasm for science with an elementary, middle, or high school teacher over the course of one school year.

ChBE Science & Engineering Field Day

Middle school students at the Science and Engineering Field DayMiddle school students at the Science and Engineering Field DayMiddle school students at the Science and Engineering Field Day

At the 2013 ChBE Science & Engineering Field Day, (a) graduate student Rudy Kahsar demonstrates a catalytic reaction, (b) middle schoolers learn about cartilage tissue engineering, and (c) students build weight-bearing candy towers and explore the principles of tension and compression.

During the 2013 Chemical & Biological Engineering (ChBE) Science & Field Day, ChBE graduate students hosted 87 middle school students at the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building. Students traveled from across the Denver-metro area, as far north as Loveland and as far south as Littleton, to take part in the day’s activities.

"The goal of the day was to raise awareness and enthusiasm of science and engineering through fun and engaging hands-on activities” explained fifth year graduate student and event organizer Tania Tauer.

The day was split into four 1-hour sessions, each exposing students to a different challenge faced by practicing scientists and engineers. The sessions included a weight-bearing tower building challenge; a forensics activity using chemical analysis; an "Energy Exploration" session; and ChBE lab explorations which involved tissue engineering and catalysis demos.

The department looks forward to continuing this successful event in the future; let us know if you would like to get involved!

Contact: Wendy Young


BOLD Center High School Student Outreach Events

ChBE students and faculty at the Fall Engineering Sampler

ChBE faculty, staff and students regularly participate in BOLD Center high school outreach efforts such as the Engineering Sampler, Explore Engineering Days, and Admitted Student Day.  Through hands-on demonstrations, lab tours, informational talks, and interactive Q&A sessions, the department educates potential future engineers about what it means to study and work in our exciting field.
Contact: Wendy Young

(pictured) ChBE students and faculty answer questions from high school students and their parents at the Fall Engineering Sampler.

Professor David CloughThe Many Roles of Dave Clough

Faculty Athletic Representative

Serving in both an academic and athletic capacity for the University of Colorado at Boulder, Professor David Clough, offers his expertise in the classroom as a faculty member for the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department, and as an advisor within the athletic administration.

Professor Clough works closely with the Director of Athletics, Mike Bohn, to support students as part of the student body and as an athlete. His involvement in the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) is extensive. He plays an integral part as the institutional representative, committee member, legislative translator, and implementer of NCAA policies within our athletic program.

American Institute of Chemical Engineers Instructor

Professor Clough has taught the course “Spreadsheet Power ... for Chemical Engineering Calculations” as part of the continuing education offerings of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers since 1989.  Professor Clough team teaches the course with Miles Julian, a retired DuPont engineer.   The course is taught over two-days with an optional third day on VBA programming with Excel.  Professor Clough and Miles Julian have taught the course in public offerings in many locations across the U.S. and in-company private offerings for many companies both in the U.S. and abroad. This is AIChE’s longest-running continuing education course with the most offerings.American

University of Iraq – Sulaimani (AUIS) Engineering Degree Program Developer

Professor Clough is assisting the American University of Iraq – Sulaimani (AUIS) in the development of an undergraduate degree program in engineering and also to extend the outreach of CU-Boulder to AUIS. Professor Clough visited Iraq in May 2011 to tour the AUIS campus, meet with faculty and students, discuss engineering laboratories and layout the engineering curriculum. Professor Clough will continue his outreach work with AUIS including helping to find a Chair for the program and visiting again in 2012.

Professor Rich NobleBoard Member for Voices for Children

Voices for Children has been providing services for abused and neglected children since 1985. The agency is a non-profit organization built on highly trained volunteers called CASAs (Court Appointed Special Advocates). Currently there are about 100 active CASAs. Over 25% of CASAs have been with Voices for Children for over five years. Professor Rich Noble served as a CASA for six years before volunteering his expertise as an engineer and educator on the Board of Directors. He has recently worked closely on the foundation of a new program within the agency which supports new parents by providing success strategies on common situations that face new parents and their child from zero to two years old.

Editor of LangmuirProfessor Dan Schwartz

Professor Daniel Schwartz celebrates the 25th anniversary of the American Chemical Society's journal Langmuir as one of the 12 Senior Editors. This interdisciplinary journal includes articles regarding the chemistry of colloids and surfaces. Langmuir is the third largest ACS journal and the preeminent journal worldwide in its topical area. As Senior Editor of Langmuir, Professor Schwartz receives about 350 manuscripts per year. With the help of his assistant, Karen Nielsen, he identifies scientists who are international experts on the topic of each manuscript and who can provide a technical review of the article. Professor Schwartz then analyzes the peer reviews and decides the fate of the article within Langmuir. When Professor Schwartz was asked, by the Editor in Chief of Langmuir, to join the team in 2004, he viewed this opportunity as a way to continue to preserve the lifeblood of science.