Ames Lab commemorates 75th anniversary with ice cream flavor

Candies being added to ice cream containers

ISU Creamery employees pack 8-ounce cartons of the newest flavor, Materials Masterpiece.

The newest ice cream flavor at the Iowa State Creamery celebrates Ames Laboratory's 75th anniversary as a U.S. Department of Energy facility. "Materials Masterpiece" -- peanut butter ice cream with mini chocolate chips, mini M&Ms and Oreo mix-ins -- emerged from an employee contest in February. Lab employees were the first to enjoy it during their annual picnic last week, and it's available now in the creamery's retail store, 2955 Food Sciences Building, in several options: by the scoop and in pre-packed 8-ounce cups and 32-ounce quarts. It's part of the creamery's regular lineup.

Selecting a flavor

Throughout this anniversary year, Ames Lab employees have participated in a variety of activities to celebrate the 75-year milestone. When an employee suggested a collaboration with the ISU Creamery, Ames Lab hosted a competition for its employees to submit flavor ideas. The challenge: Create an ice cream flavor that tells the story of the lab. ISU Creamery director Stephanie Clark and business administrator Sarah Canova and Ames Lab director Adam Schwartz selected the winning flavor.

The performance management team at Ames Lab proposed it. Their proposal read, in part, "Similar to the development process involved in creating a new material, this recipe requires collaboration, research and bringing together the perfect combination of ingredients to produce the best possible product."

"I have a sweet tooth, so the more mix-ins, the better," said team member Chelsey Aisenbrey, director of laboratory planning and performance. "We wanted to involve a bunch of different toppings that go together to create an even better result.

"This was a nice opportunity to reinforce the story behind the lab," she added.