Creative Inquiry

Project Spotlights

Making Waves with the Clemson Concrete Canoe Team

Concrete and water do not mix well. But don't just take that as common knowledge. Next time you are near a body of water with a concrete block in hand, toss it in. Hopefully, that block wasn't anything important, because it's not resurfacing. But...

The Civil War, 150 Years Later: 2 Student Perspectives

The Civil War is considered the constitutive conflict in American history, and this divisive struggle between North and South, Union and Confederacy, is still deeply rooted in the personal memories of its citizens. The Sesquicentennial...

Riding Clemson's Mobile Tide

Anyone who has ever used a smart phone has come across apps, the games and social media programs that they run. Apps like Angry Birds and Foursquare have become household products, and mobile devices are quickly being integrated into all aspects of...

Giving History A Voice

The year is 1942. The stench of death hovers in the military prison in which Colonel Ben Skardon, Clemson College Class of 1938, is being held captive by Japanese military forces. His health is declining rapidly and his body is being ravaged by...

Place and Space

So who exactly is Virginia Woolf? For years, Woolf has enchanted readers and critics with her innovative prose and witty social commentary. Many of her works serve as standard readings for college literature classes. But how did Virginia Woolf...

Commemorating a Legend

Clemson University prides itself on celebrating the men and women who have attended this great institution. Ben Robertson, Class of 1923, is one such alumnus whose legacy must be commemorated. After being born and raised in the upstate and...

CU Water Drop

From attending house parties to frequenting the local bars, students at Clemson regularly engage in an age-old leisure activity for college students- drinking. And, as with many college campuses, alcohol abuse is a pervasive problem many faculty...

Building Democracy Abroad

At the crossroad of Creative Inquiry and study abroad, Dr. Vladimir Matic's Creative Inquiry project, Democracy Building in Post Conflict Countries, offers political science students a life-changing experience while studying the political systems...

Anything but a Snail's Pace

South Carolina works hard to lure visitors to the state's many attractions. Tourism helps drive our economy, and friendly guests are always welcomed to enjoy our scenic mountain vistas, warm beaches and picturesque lakes. Despite all of that, one...

Facilitating an Authentic Connection

Guided by a philosophy that states, "Learning should take place wherever, whenever, with whomever, and however best facilitates an authentic connection between student, faculty, and content," the EDGE program in Clemson's department of parks,...

Expanding Animal Knowledge

It is a unique experience when a student is able to expand the curriculum of his or her own field, and Dr. Heather Dunn of the department of animal and veterinary sciences (AVS) has led a Creative Inquiry project that gives students just that...

Following the Connected Trail

At the break of dawn before classes begin, wildlife and fisheries biology graduate student, Cady Etheredge, and her fifteen-student Creative Inquiry team climb into a Clemson lab van and drive along a bumpy dirt road to the old agriculture center...

Education Now, Opportunity Forever

The opportunity to receive an education is often taken for granted by American students. In places like the Central American country of Belize, education is desired and respected, but isn't a realistic possibility for many children. A project that...

Productivity in the Mid-Century Textile Industry

In order to arrive at their results, Bodenhorn's researchers used a composite measure for labor, aggregating across male, female and child laborers, utilizing their respective marginal products as weights. This allowed them to measure changes...

Lose Weight, Feel Great

Working adults from a local textile plant are no longer taking sodas and Little Debbie cakes to eat on their lunch breaks. Their new craving for water, fruits and vegetables, is all due to a few students and Dr. Vivian Haley-Zitlin's desire to...

Restoring a University Landmark

One of Clemson's lesser-known but unique landmarks is a Foucault Pendulum, a device that tracks the Earth's rotation. In the past ten years, though, the pendulum has stopped swinging. A team of Creative Inquiry students has taken on the task of...

Educating a Village the Healthy Way

What is health? By Merriam-Webster's definition, it is "the condition of being sound in body, mind or spirit, especially, being free from physical disease or pain." A large number of people understand this concept and know how to ensure their...

Joining the SWAG Club

Clemson students are surrounded by opportunities for educational experiences and campus involvement, so much so that the routine of going to classes, attending organizational meetings, and rushing amidst a packed schedule to make the intramural...

A Fruit Juice For a Cure

Each day we hear about a new potential cause for cancer; from cell phones to microwave meals, it seems that the threat of the disease is all around us. But what if something as simple as a fruit juice could not only treat cancer but also...

Farm Fresh Produce Meets Students Fresh Ideas

Four days out of the semester, Cox Plaza, the courtyard outside of the Student Union, is buzzing with the hubbub of local farmers filling tent-canopied tables with farm fresh fruits and vegetables, gourmet hot sauces and homemade textiles and...

Driven Tigers Finish First

The roar of the crowd is deafening. Blurs of speed flash by as the racecars zoom around the track below at over 200 mph. One blur stands out in particular, though, because of its distinctive coloring and a giant tiger paw on its hood - it is NASCAR...

Getting Creative With Calculus

Throughout their curricula at Clemson, many students find themselves required to take at least one calculus class to earn their degrees. While these classes are useful, many students will drop the courses (and subsequently change their majors) or...

Exploring the Kanji World Japanese Culture

With the world's second largest economy and a focus on technological innovation, Japan is a country with its eyes set on the future. Therefore, it is no surprise that Clemson students from all majors are investing their time in studying the...

Bringing Literature to Life

Eleven students gathered weekly in a small classroom on the fourth floor of Daniel Hall. Their mission was clear: to bring nationally recognized, culturally relevant, awardwinning fiction authors and poets to Clemson for the 6th Annual Clemson...

Appetite versus Attraction

From just a short distance away, it looks like Sally and John are really hitting it off. Sally, a cheery blonde, wears a simple white dress and a dazzling smile. Soon it is time to order. Sally: a neat Mediterranean salad, light dressing, hold...

Poverty Ends With a Girl

An often-quoted African proverb says, "If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a nation." Women have the power to shape the intellectual, and therefore economic, futures of their children,...

Education Through Participation

In the midst of normal classroom demands in primary and secondary schools, one objective often buried beneath the classwork is educating children on how to take care of themselves, whether the lesson regards their health, personal safety, or...

The College Balancing Act

For the average student, running laps at Fike is probably the last thing on the mind. With so many academic activities, it is reasonably hard for anyone to imagine giving up thirty minutes of their time to get all sweaty lifting weights. After...

Beyond the Laboratory

The agriculture industry relies on genetic research to breed better crops. Research in genetics can lead to a better understanding of how plants get nutrients and what factors affect growth; breeders can capitalize on this information to improve...

Ending the Violence One Light at a Time

This April, approximately 2,000 lights illuminated the night and led the way for the thousands of students that cross Clemson's library bridge each day. No, not merely for decorative purposes-it wasn't a holiday or a fundraiser. The purpose...

Inventing a Better Koozie

Imagine sitting next to a swimming pool or standing at a tailgate in the blazing heat of summer. There might be drinks sitting out, but even the cold ones warm up quickly. As student Cody O'Rear says, "Who doesn't want a colder drink?" He and...

Leading Horses to Market

Raising and training young horses is not an easy task. The process requires learned skill, practiced patience and natural ability. And in the horse industry, in order to turn a profit and maintain a strong reputation as an equestrian trainer, a...

Saving Clemson's MASCOT

There are only 3,200 wild tigers left in the world. The enormity of this problem has not gone unnoticed by Clemson students. In 1997, Clemson students founded Tigers for Tigers, a student initiative to support tiger conservation around the...

Planting Seeds for a Sustainable Future

What do students in psychology, biosystems engineering and graphic communications have in common? A passion for sustainability. Their interest in the environment brought them to LEAF (Leading for our Environment and Future), a community located in...

Building Haiti's Future

Haiti has seen tragedy in recent years in the wake of a devastating earthquake and epidemic of cholera, but a group of Clemson engineering students is working to revitalize the country. Clemson Engineers for Developing Countries (CEDC) is an...
Students in the Popular Science Journalism Creative Inquiry project are finding out for themselves. Members of the project team are undergraduates majoring in a variety of biological sciences but all with the same goal: to discover what being a...

Unique learning landscape helps middle school students grasp math concepts

It was a bright spring day when Clemson's director of landscape architecture, Matthew Powers, unveiled his latest "learning landscape" to an audience of students, teachers and administrators in a courtyard of Dacusville Middle School in upstate...
Groups of students use the math garden.
What do diet supplements, cuttlefish, and newspapers have in common? A scientific journalism Creative Inquiry team is drawing these seemingly unrelated topics together. In doing so, they are making an impact on the community's knowledge of recent...

The Balloon Release: Pre-Game Tradition or Wild-Game Malnutrition

Cannon blast. Roaring crowds. The team comes dashing down the hill. As this happens, thousands of balloons are released into the air. This scene is familiar to anyone who's attended a Clemson University football game. However, the fate of these...

Can You Please Hold My Hand?

Anyone who has spent time with kids knows it all too well - they never seem to sit still. This is especially true in a hospital, where children are surrounded by strangers, needles, and scary-looking equipment. Trying to complete routine tests can...

You've Got a Friend in Me

Fifteen students plus numerous ClemsonLIFE mentors equals one life changing experience. Going away to college is a luxury that isn't available to many students with intellectual disabilities. However, with Clemson's unique program, students are...

More than Just a Walk Through the Park

If you've never ventured through the South Carolina Botanical Gardens, you should make plans to go there as soon as possible. It's not just because of the fluttering butterflies, the vibrant daffodils, or the splashing ducklings, either. You're in...

They're Watching You: Conversation Analysis in Social Media

Updating your Facebook status and adding pictures from your weekend trip might seem like typical college activities, but there may be a lot more to these tasks. A new Creative Inquiry team is collecting information presented in social media outlets...

Cyberbullying and Beyond: Psychology in the Digital Age

The October 2006 suicide of 13-year-old Megan Meier shocked parents and students nationwide. Meier, barely out of childhood and into adolescence, had felt such torment when a boy who had befriended her on MySpace.com suddenly turned on her,...

Hatching Urban Furniture for the Streets of Asheville

Clemson University architecture students are beginning final construction on a unique piece of urban furniture: The HATCHpad, which will find a temporary home on the streets of Asheville, N.C. The project is part of a Creative Inquiry project...

Teaching to Learn: Improving Science & Math Education for Kids

It's a typical school day: students sit at their desks, keep a close eye on the clock, scribble notes, and try to stay awake. After the lecture ends, how much information will be retained? Will the students even care about the topics discussed?...
Seven Clemson University students and political science professor Colin Pearce attended the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States (ACSUS) Biennial Conference held in Ottawa, Canada. The Creative Inquiry group, the only student...

The Next Performance Enhancing Drug: Sleep

We've all been there: slouching down in class, trying to peel your eyes open, suffering from that all-nighter. Especially in a college setting, sleep deprivation can be a normal part of life. Whether it is before a big exam or a project deadline,...

The Early Bird Might Not Get the Worm

Hummingbirds disappear in the winter and return in the springtime, hovering outside your window while drinking from a bright red feeder. Chirping birds are a sign that spring has finally arrived, shortly followed by blossoming trees and warm...

Raise Your Glass: The Connection Between Brewing and Driving

It's a Thursday evening in downtown Clemson. The night is young, and many students are enjoying one of their favorite beverages. Alcohol flows as the lifeblood for many a college party, but the mechanics behind its production could yield new...

Creative Inquiry Project Results in Kennedy Center Award for Playwriting

Mark Charney, Clemson University's resident playwright and director of theater, is the 2010 recipient of the David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award given by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, the Association for Theatre in...

Don't Judge a Book by its Cover: Camp Read-a-Rama

What starts with 'reading' and ends in 'fun'? Read-a-Rama! Camp Read-a-Rama is a program that gets kids from different backgrounds excited about reading. Launched in 2001 by Dr. Michelle Martin from the teacher education department, Read-a-Rama...

The Science Behind Simulations: Injecting New Possibilities into the Medical Field

A young nurse, no older than 25, extends her trembling hand - ready to inject you with a needle. You squirm away, not comforted by the fact that the first person she is performing this procedure on is you. Although this may sound like an unlikely...

The Cange Change: Developing a New Water System in Haiti

Five thousand children a day or 3.5 million people a year - that's the number of lives that could be saved if the whole world had clean water. Here in America this basic necessity is often taken for granted, but in places like Haiti, easy access to...

Food Myths Exposed: Why the Five-Second Rule Should Be the No-Second Rule

It happens all the time - the last chip in the bag drops onto the floor, so you quickly snatch it up, and eat it while quoting the five-second rule to your friends. But how legitimate is the five-second rule? Dr. Paul Dawson, a professor in the...

Shooting for the Moon

From the classroom to the laboratory to professional conferences, students are exploring solutions to the complex problems of today and tomorrow, and everybody plays a role. Creative Inquiry project teams are comprised of undergraduates, graduate...

Finding Flavor and Fighting Sickness in Food

Coffee and cancer aren't often mentioned in the same sentence, but in Dr. Feng Chen's laboratory, both are topics of much debate. On Dr. Chen's Creative Inquiry team, students from the Department of Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Science get lab...

Stepping into a Greener Future

An architecture Creative Inquiry project that focused on designs for the Clemson University Student Organic Farm was honored in an international design competition, Structures for Inclusion 2011, for a project called STEPS to Connectivity and...

The Solution is All in Your Head

The story of robotics hasn't always been a happy one, with countless tales of robots causing an end to humankind However, Dr. Delphine Dean and Dr. David Kwartowitz have put a new spin on the classic tale. Their Creative Inquiry project in the...

Experiencing Our World through Your iPhone

Prospective students and their parents can now tour Clemson University's campus with an iPhone as their guide. The application developed by students as a Creative Inquiry project offers an interactive way to learn more about buildings and...

Kicking Normal to the Curb and Bringing Home a Gold

Four Clemson University students took first place in a national marketing competition. The Creative Inquiry team topped students from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Texas/Arlington to win the Chevrolet Sonic Marketing Challenge...

A Fruitful Discovery: Why We Age

In recent years, fruits like the acai berry and pomegranate (coined 'superfruits') have been wildly heralded for their numerous health benefits. But what role do such fruits actually play in increasing the human lifespan? Groundbreaking research is...

Tailgating for Clemson in Orange - and Green

A group of Clemson University students has come up with a way football fans can make tailgating more environmentally friendly. A team led by students in civil engineering and architecture designed a sustainable tailgating trailer that can be...

Matters of the Heart: They Don't Miss a Beat

Your pulse is racing and you can feel your heartbeat resonating through your chest. The emergency room doctors hurriedly push you down the cold hallway, trying to hide the panic on their faces. When a patient is lying in the hospital with a serious...
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. In 2008, over one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Physical activity plays a role in numerous...

I Belong to South Carolina

Professor Susanna Ashton's 2007-2008 Creative Inquiry project team sought to collect and publish slave narratives of South Carolina. Now their hard work is being rewarded. I Belong to South Carolina: South Carolina Slave Narratives is being...

The Pulse of Perception: The relationship between blood pressure and emotional recognition

Lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub. The heart of a participant beats as Dr. Jim McCubbin's students listen through a stethoscope for the faint whoosh that indicates systolic blood pressure, with an eye on the blood pressure gauge and a cuff on the subject's...

To an Asteroid, and Beyond!

Your task, should you choose to acc ept it, is to design a mission to an asteroid. Sound like an old episode of Mission Impossible? Not quite. This time, it's NASA, Clemson University and other members of the NASA Human Health and Performance Center...

Cultura in the Carolinas

South Carolina's culture is viewed, sometimes quite literally, in black and white. That is, white culture is one facet and black history and tradition, another. While this might have largely been the case for decades, a burgeoning Hispanic...

Playing by the Rules

When President Jim Barker was asked to help simplify and improve the Division I rulebook for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), he asked, "How can we make this a teachable moment?" Barker turned to colleague Dan Wueste,...

Sizzlin' on the Southern Circuit

Most movie theaters in towns surrounding Clemson, SC show only the major Hollywood flicks, full of hot lead actresses, 3D explosions, and big-name directors?all this "entertainment" for nearly fifteen bucks. However, one Creative Inquiry, in...

Designing Medical Technology for the Developing World

Getting your temperature and pulse taken in the doctor's office seem like routine tasks. Many parents even complete these tests at home. In a country with so much medical technology, it is hard to imagine life without our luxuries. However,...

It's A Joint Effort

Medical implant devices (MIDs) have been used widely for more than 40 years, and it is estimated that 8 to 10 percent of Americans (20-25 million people) currently have such a device. Although implant devices produce great benefits, sometimes MIDs...
Many Clemson students are training to become future scientists, but some are actively assisting the scientific community already. There are dozens upon dozens of papers where chicken genes have been described, but it's an immense task to find all...

From Frying Pan to Gas Tank: The Creation of Biodiesel

What if you learned we only had 30 years left of oil reserves and less than 80 years worth of Uranium? Obviously you would want to find an alternative, especially using resources you already have. Dr. Terry Walker, Robert Clark, Charles Thornton,...

Don't be Crabby: Creative Inquiry Students are Making a Splash

Imagine going to a local seafood restaurant and not being able to order your favorite dish-ever again. Research being conducted by Clemson students is showing that blue crabs may disappear from the menu due to human impacts on the environment....
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