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Penn College to Exhibit at Nation’s Largest Science Festival

Pennsylvania College of Technology representatives will present “A Taste of Technology” for thousands of people hungry to experience STEM fields at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C., April 15-17.

Led by faculty and students from the School of Business & Hospitality, Penn College representatives will offer hands-on activities for participants to discover the science, technology, engineering and math involved in food preparation.

“We want people to experience aspects of STEM beyond the classroom and in all areas of life,” said Chef Frank M. Suchwala, associate professor of hospitality management/culinary arts and creator of A Taste of Technology. “Specifically, we can show how food can be created and presented in innovative ways using STEM to our advantage.”

Chef Frank M. Suchwala, associate professor of hospitality management/culinary arts, and baking and pastry arts majors Jeffrey L. Bretz, of Williamsport, and Keegan D. Sonney, of Erie, practice one of the demonstrations for “A Taste of Technology” that they will present for Penn College at the USA Science and Engineering Festival.
Chef Frank M. Suchwala, associate professor of hospitality management/culinary arts, and baking and pastry arts majors Jeffrey L. Bretz, of Williamsport, and Keegan D. Sonney, of Erie, practice one of the demonstrations for “A Taste of Technology” that they will present for Penn College at the USA Science and Engineering Festival.

The Penn College contingent will share its insight and expertise to a large crowd. The biennial expo at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center is expected to attract approximately 350,000 people, who will experience a wide variety of interactive exhibits, presentations and science celebrities. The free event is designed to inspire the next generation of innovators and encourage them to consider a STEM career path.

“The USA Science and Engineering Festival is the perfect venue to showcase Penn College,” said Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management/associate provost. “As a national leader in applied technology education, our talented faculty and students are well-equipped to offer unique, hands-on activities to highlight STEM. Guests will remember their experience at the Penn College exhibit long after the festival ends.”

The 10-by-40-foot Penn College exhibit will feature continuous interactive demonstrations at three stations: spherification (shaping liquids into spheres) and reverse spherification, nanotechnology and gelation (creating white chocolate spaghetti), and liquid nitrogen (freezing food products to explore effects on taste and texture).

After watching the processes, individuals will be invited to engage in the various procedures and sample the results.

“The activities focus on the science of food preparation and the possibilities for new presentations in the modern kitchen,” Suchwala said. “They epitomize what we always preach to the students: ‘Have fun while learning!’”

Chef Mary G. Trometter, assistant professor of food and hospitality management/culinary arts; Chef Todd M. Keeley, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts; and Chef Richard J. McGlynn, sous chef for the School of Business & Hospitality, will assist Suchwala.

Brian M. McKeon, assistant professor of biology, will be on hand to explain the science behind the food-related demonstrations.

Penn College students facilitating “A Taste of Technology” will be baking and pastry arts majors Keegan D. Sonney, Erie; Sarah Tielmann, Tatamy; Jeffrey L. Bretz, Williamsport; Nathan Diaz, Reading; and Lloyd A. Shope, Blanchard; and culinary arts and systems majors Kendra J. Riggle, Montoursville; Katelynn M. Watson, Williamsport; and Robert E. Wood, Montoursville.

“It will be a great experience for the students,” Suchwala said. “Interacting with people of all ages presents new challenges and helps the students grow. They become the teacher and are able to share a wealth of knowledge that they have gained.”

Representatives from Penn College’s Admissions Office will be present, as well, to distribute information for prospective students interested in the school’s 100-plus baccalaureate and associate degrees.

The Penn College booth will open on April 15 at 9 a.m. for “Sneak Peek Friday,” a day reserved for school groups, homeschoolers and military families to enjoy the festival. The general public is invited on April 16 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and April 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The college’s exhibit will be located in Halls ABC, booth 3534.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Chef Frank M. Suchwala (right), associate professor of hospitality management/culinary arts, helps to serve players from the Texas team, representing the Southwest Region, at the Little League World Series. Students, faculty and staff in the college’s hospitality majors – and its related Le Jeune Chef Restaurant – are providing dining services in the secure housing area for teams at the Little League World Series complex. (Photo provided by Little League.)
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