WSU hosts high school chemistry students

More than a dozen chemistry students from St. George’s School in Spokane visited Washington State University recently to perform advanced laboratory experiments involving atomic spectroscopy equipment. With additional funding, the chemistry program is hoping to see this trend expanded statewide.

Working with chemistry instructor Jeremy Lessmann, the juniors and seniors from St. Georges identified the chemical components they extracted from apples by using atomic spectroscopy techniques.

Participation in the WSU program allows the students to conduct laboratory procedures that cannot be performed in high school labs due to the need for sophisticated, expensive equipment and required safety equipment. The timing permitted the students to use labs that are empty due to the mid-year break.

Ronald Newton, instructional lab supervisor in chemistry, hopes new funding will permit WSU to offer similar opportunities to students at high schools around the state. “This new partnership is being offered to help schools prepare their students for chemistry courses offered at WSU,” said Newton.

Since the program’s inception 16 years ago, about 750 students from the Spokane area have participated.