CELDi Takes Engineering to the Classroom

CELDi Researchers, Ed Pohl, Kim Needy & Heather Nachtmann, Gain Recognition at American Society for Engineering Management conference
October 4, 2014
Paper Highlight: Trailer Fleet Planning for Industrial Gas Distribution
October 14, 2014

CELDi Takes Engineering to the Classroom

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 2.17.13 PM

Network Flow Models
IE Challenge

CELDi, through the NSF program Research Experience for Teacher (RET), is helping to bring engineering into middle and high school classrooms in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. Area teachers and university faculty work together to develop programs that introduce students to the field of industrial engineering and expand math, science and communication skills. CELDi currently sponsors 2 RET programs. The University of Arkansas hosts the IE Challenge and Oklahoma State University sponsors the Network Flow Models in Transportation and Logistics project.

The Network Flow Models project produces classroom teaching modules developed by Stillwater High School teacher, Mark Thomas, and CELDi engineering faculty at Oklahoma State University that are available on the web. These modules are designed to introduce network problems and mathematical modeling for use within high school mathematics classes. For more information contact: Mark Thomas

IE_Challenge 2012

IE Challenge: Arkansas teachers, Melissa Miller from Lynch Middle School and Randall Reynolds from Gravette Junior High School, along with UARK Industrial Engineering faculty, developed the Roller Coaster Tycoon II project for the 2011-12 Annual IE Challenge competition. This popular program continues in an expanded form that includes new scenarios for Junior and Senior Division. The top 5 teams in each division will be invited to the University of Arkansas campus to compete for cash prizes. Students submit papers and give PowerPoint presentations to demonstrate their park design before a panel of judges.

The 2012 IE Challenge finalist competition was held on April 21, 2012 on the University of Arkansas campus in Engineering Hall. Eighteen Arkansas middle and high school students competed.

What is the IE Challenge?


IE Challenge Game

Teams of 2 students work together to design a theme park using the “Roller Coaster Tycoon 2” video game simulation and the following Industrial Engineering concepts:

  • Facilities Layout
  • Project Management – planning stages
  • Queuing System Structure
  • Progress and Status Reporting
  • Personnel Management
  • Profitability of the park

The teams submit their park design proposal for competition in the IE Challenge. Submissions are evaluated by a panel of teachers and the finalists are invited to compete at the University of Arkansas on April 21, 2012. At the finalist competition, students make an oral presentation and complete a short design problem at a workstation. Professors and graduate students judge the competition. Cash prizes are awarded to the top 3 winners in each division.


Organizers of the IE Challenge include Dr. Ed Pohl and Dr. Richard Cassady from the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Arkansas, along with Mrs. Melissa Miller (Randall G. Lynch Middle School) and Mr. Randall Reynolds (Gravette Junior High School). Melissa and Randall have worked for several years as representatives for the program called Research Experiences for Teachers (RET). The program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (Award 0732686) through an award to the Center for Excellence in Logistics and Distribution (CELDi).

2010 Senior division winners, Cameron Holland & Nick Shepherd, from Sheridan High School

2010 Senior division winners, Cameron Holland & Nick Shepherd, from Sheridan High School

Students compete in the IE Challenge on the University of Arkansas campus. Congratulations to the 2012 competition finalists, their sponsors and to the division winners below!


Photo Gallery IE Challenge 2012

2012 Junior Division Winners

1st Place – The Coaster Rockers (Spencer Heald & Caleb Velez),
Gravette Middle School, Gravette, Arkansas
Sponsor – Robin Morris

2nd Place – Blazing Cards (Cale Petrie & Jared Pinkerton),
Lynch Middle School, Farmington, Arkansas
Sponsor: Kristi Petrie

3rd Place – Industrial Thrills Federation (Owen Young & Justus Houchins), Benton County School of the Arts, Rogers, Arkansas
Sponsor: Jeannine Smith

2012 Senior Division Winners:

1st Place – The Coaster Rockers (Dillan Sims & Zac Laird),
Benton County School of the Arts, Rogers, Arkansas
Sponsor: Eddie Smith

2nd Place – Team Weber and Darrington (Chandler Weber & Robby Darrington), North Pulaski High School, Jacksonville, AR
Sponsor: James Paul

3rd Place – Team M & M (Mikayla Shaddon & Melissa Morgan),
County Line High School, Branch, AR
Sponsor: Sara Porterfield

For more information about how your school can be a part of IE Challenge please contact:
Randall Reynolds rreynolds@lions.k12.ar.us
Melissa Miller mmiller@farmcards.org