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Congressman Randy Hultgren

Representing the 14th District of ILLINOIS

Second STEM Scholars Class Kicks-Off with Two Visits to Study Microbiology and Food Flavoring Science

Nov 6, 2017
Press Release

Campton Hills, IL —U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) and his STEM Scholars kicked off this year’s class with two meetings in the 14th Congressional District. First, they tackled microbiology with faculty at an Elgin Community College laboratory. Their second meeting took place at FONA International in Geneva, where students learned about food flavoring science, as well as career and industry trends. FONA hosted the graduation ceremony for last year’s inaugural STEM Scholars class.

STEM Scholars is a youth leadership program Rep. Hultgren launched last year to encourage highly-motivated and energetic high school students to become ambassadors in their communities for the possibilities provided by science, technology, engineering and math. (#STEMScholars)

(STEM Scholars conduct microbiology experiments at Elgin Community College)

“Our STEM Scholars this year are off to a great start as our community’s STEM ambassadors,” said Rep. Hultgren. “At our first meeting at Elgin Community College, we got to know each other and met with ECC President Dr. David Sam and the science faculty before we launched into our hands-on microbiology activity using microscopes and slides. The complexity of the work required the students to rely on each other for help. ECC faculty said the slides were some of the best they had seen in years!

“FONA International arranged another fun and interesting day for our STEM Scholars, led by their inspiring and knowledgeable staff. Students competed to build free-standing structures with pipe cleaners, and engaged in a series of hands-on sensory food science experiments to answer such questions as, How does fat content affect the taste of chocolate milk, and How does sugar density affect viscosity or liquid stacking? We finished the day with a group tour of the different labs at FONA. It is a privilege and honor for me to see that the second year of the STEM program is off to a strong start!”

(STEM Scholars review their findings though microscopes at Elgin Community College)

(STEM Scholars presenting their pipe cleaner structures at FONA International)

(Students work in teams during pipe cleaner competition)

(Rep. Hultgren with this year’s STEM Scholars class)

This past school year, Rep. Hultgren and the STEM Scholars worked alongside food flavoring professionals measuring chocolate syrup to see how it mixed and tasted differently with different types of milk, saw first-hand the partnership a local business has with NASA’s Space Launch System which could carry our astronauts to Mars, engaged in hands-on learning with flight simulators, observed the ways in which companies like Caterpillar, Rolls-Royce and Microsoft are collaborating together with dozens of universities in a regional hub in downtown Chicago, and talked to STEM professionals about their careers at a local science museum.