Creative Inquiry


CU CHEFSTM (Clemson University Healthy Eating and Food Specialists) work as a team to provide culinary nutrition to the public. Culinary nutrition is the application of nutrition principles combined with food science knowledge displayed through a mastery of culinary skills. Once a month Dr. Marge Condrasky, professor in the Department of Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences, takes students from her Culinary Nutrition Creative Inquiry team to the Greenville Health System in order to educate families on healthy meals for their children. The New Impact Weight Management program allows the Creative Inquiry team to create healthy recipes, run a cooking class and work with a professional to deliver a program to the public.


Dr. Andrew Hurley, assistant professor of packaging science and his team of Creative Inquiry students work together to create unique furniture by using corrugated medium. Corrugated medium is strong when the pieces are put together, so the team works with multiple pieces, layering them, to build furniture. “We have created a corrugated piano, chairs, tables, a tiger paw and lots of decorations that have been placed around the Harris A. Smith Building,” Mengmeg Zhao, senior packaging science major, stated.

Fishing for Answers

Clad in waders and carrying nets, students from the Stream Fish Ecology Creative Inquiry formed a line and waded through the waters of the Clemson Experimental Forest. It is here, knee-high in streams, where the team studies and conducts research on the small, indigenous fish species in the Clemson area. Led by Dr. Yoichiro Kanno, assistant professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation, the team uses electrofishing techniques to capture fish, tag them individually and track population dynamics. Studying how the fish population changes can indicate changes in the environment.

Reinventing an Ancient Art

The ancient art of paper-folding, or origami, utilizes simple techniques to transform a two-dimensional piece of paper into a complex, intricate, three-dimensional structure. Though traditionally used for ornamental artwork, students in the Origami-Inspired Manufacturing of Composite Parts Creative Inquiry took a more functional approach with origami.

Out of This World

Have you ever wondered how the world was formed? How the earth, planets and the billions of stars that light up the night sky were molded? Dr. Sean Brittain, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, is head of the Creative Inquiry Characterization of Planet Formation and he and his team are working to answer these very questions. Brittain’s team is working together to collect information from already available resources and to create their own models to figure out how the earth and other planets were developed.

Stress After Dark

There is a greater abundance of lungless salamanders, also known as Plethodon, than any other vertebrate group in the southeastern United States. Thus this group has a major impact on the ecosystem. Because salamanders are nocturnal, they are seldom seen, but these ecologically important creatures are being threatened due to stressors in their environments.

Sustainable Farming: From Garden to Table

Nestled beside the Bart Garrison Agricultural Museum of South Carolina, located in
Pendleton and amongst clucking chickens, is a garden containing crops native to South Carolina. It is here that students from the Designing a Kitchen Garden of the Future Based on the Past Creative Inquiry team meet on a weekly basis to maintain and develop the garden.

Human Powered Vehicles

Each spring, ASME hosts a nationwide competition for engineering programs to develop a vehicle entirely powered by a human. While the thoughts of a human-powered vehicle may invoke images of a Fred Flintstone-esque rudimentary car for some, do not make this mistake. Over twenty members strong, this Creative Inquiry combines some of the best mechanical engineering students Clemson University has to offer to produce a cutting edge, innovative design capable of ranging from carrying groceries to endurance racing.