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High School

Contact the high school program.

Beginning in 2009, the Stanford Chemistry department teamed up with American High School in Fremont to bring in novel hands-on guided inquiry lab experiences. In these labs, students work together in small groups to carry out an exciting activity that would otherwise not be possible with the minimal equipment and supplies available to most high schools. During each visit, a group of approximately six graduate students from the Stanford Chemistry Department bring all equipment and supplies required into the high school classroom, and aid the teacher with set-up and facilitation of the lab during all chemistry sections taught during a regular school day. The lab topics fit within the California Curriculum Standards, presented with an emphasis on how these concepts apply in the real world.

The goal of our program is to provide high school students the opportunity to interact with other young scientists who are truly passionate and excited about chemistry. Through these interactions we hope to instill an appreciation for how chemistry is critical to decisions that we make in the ‘real world’ and ignite an interest in young students to pursue futures in the sciences.

The program is directed by Dr. Jennifer Schwartz Poehlmann, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry. Jennifer oversees all aspects of the program as well as our enthusiastic graduate student coordinators, who organize our events and lab visits. Request a visit to your school.

Request a Visit to Your School

Meet our outreach coordinators!

These busy students will be actively developing two additional lab experiences to dovetail with the California state curriculum in addition to post-activity follow-up and data collection. This information will be used to communicate outreach activities to the department and community and maintain documentation of developed materials, including record of program success and targets for improvement.


Shyam Iyer

Shyam Iyer

Shyam is a second year graduate student in the Solomon Lab. His research goals include the elucidation of geometric and electronic structures of mononuclear and binuclear iron enzymes involved in dioxygen activation. He was born in India and has spent some of his childhood years in Australia and teens years in Beijing, China. He got his undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Shyam is excited about outreach because he remembers how the experiments in his high school chemistry class were key in stimulating his interest in the field, and triggered his love for science and discovery.


Rain Mariano

Rain Mariano

Rain is a PhD student in the Kanan group, where his work focuses on developing design principles for heterogenous CO and CO2 electroreduction catalysts. Originally from the Philippines, Rain moved to Texas in 2010 to obtain his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Dallas. Rain is driven by student comprehension, and is committed to helping educators adapt to their students’ diverse learning styles by bringing hands-on experiments to the classroom.


Katherine Walker

Katherine Walker

Katherine is just starting her second year of her Ph.D. in the Waymouth Lab. Her research focuses on investigating mechanisms involving cationic palladium species; she collaborates with the Zare Lab to observe charged intermediates via ambient ionization mass spectrometry. She is from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, but spent a lot of her childhood living in Cardiff, Wales. Katherine got her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Cornell University. Her primary outreach goal is to bring experiments to high schools that will engage students and get them interested in how chemistry affects our lives.


Anna Elleman

Anna Elleman

Anna is a 2nd year PhD student in the Du Bois group, where she develops STX analogues to probe sodium channel function. While she grew up on an island in Rhode Island, she moved across the country for college to study chemistry at the University of California: Berkeley. Through outreach, she hopes to inspire students to pursue science in college and beyond.


Liz McLoughlin

Liz McLoughlin

Liz is a third year graduate student in the Waymouth lab. Her research is focused on developing novel in-situ techniques and using existing characterization methods to elucidate the electronic and geometric structure of homogeneous electrocatalysts and electrocatalytic intermediates. Liz grew up on the Connecticut coastline and loves all things New England. Before pursuing her graduate work at Stanford, she received her BA in Chemistry from Wellesley College in 2014. Liz enjoys outreach because it is an opportunity for students to visualize concepts they have learned about in class and observe the ubiquity of chemistry in their everyday lives.