PULLMAN, Wash. — More than a dozen chemistry students from Saint George’s School in Spokane will visit Washington State University on Dec. 10 as part of the university’s Chemistry Outreach program. The program provides students the opportunity to perform advanced experiments using state-of-the-art equipment.

Working with WSU chemistry instructor Jeremy Lessmann, the high school juniors and seniors will identify the chemical components they extract from apples by using atomic spectroscopy techniques. Participation in the WSU program allows the Spokane chemistry 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 permits the high school students to use labs that are empty due to the mid-year break. 

The program’s director, Ronald Newton, 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 teachers prepare their students for chemistry courses offered at Washington State University,” Newton said.

In addition to the on-campus lab experience, the program offers other support to the Spokane area schools.  WSU faculty help teachers enhance current high school chemistry laboratory experiments and update lecture materials.

Chemistry students from Mead High School and Ferris High School have already visited once this year and will make a second visit later in the spring along with students from Cheney High School.  Since the program’s inception 16 years ago, about 750 students from the Spokane area have participated in the program.

Editor’s Note:  The Spokane students will arrive at WSU at 10:30 a.m. and will be in the chemistry labs (Fulmer Hall, Room 207 and 219) until about 2 p.m., before visiting museums and other WSU sites.

Newton’s office is in Fulmer Hall, Room 435.  He will be on hand beginning about 8 a.m. He can be reached at (509) 335-6463.

Chemistry teachers from Spokane schools who have brought students to participate in the Chemistry Outreach program include Peter O’Brien, a science teacher at Saint George’s School; Cinda Parton, science teacher, Ferris High School; Laura Gray, chemistry teacher, Mead High School; and Mary-Margaret Pratt, chemistry teacher, Cheney High School.