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. Unfortunately, this program was paused for several years during the pandemic and is not actively running at this time. We will be sure to post updates when we are able to offer classroom visits again.
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.