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.
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.
Hannah is a graduate student in the Solomon Lab where she uses different types of spectroscopic methods to study zeolites, focusing on selective hydrocarbon hydroxylation by iron and copper zeolites. Hannah grew up in Minnesota and received her B.S. and M.S. in Chemistry at the University of Minnesota Duluth where she studied both inorganic and organometallic complexes using a variety of spectroscopic techniques. She is excited to give hands-on lab experience to high school students in order to motivate and inspire them to pursue a career in science.
Katherine is just starting her fifth 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 is a fourth-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.
Conor is a second-year graduate student in the Waymouth lab, where he studies the electrocatalytic oxidation of alcohols with homogeneous organometallic transfer hydrogenation complexes. He grew up in southern Indiana, but moved to the west coast to complete his B.A. in chemistry from Pomona College. Conor is an avid rock climber and mountaineer, and he is currently trying to climb all of the 14,000’ peaks in California. As a former camp counselor and director, Conor is excited to continue his passion for mentorship and education by bringing exciting and hands-on chemistry to high school students in the Bay Area.
Holly is a fourth-year graduate student in the Du Bois lab. Her research involves synthesizing derivatives of saxitoxin, a potent neurotoxin, to study the structure and function of voltage-gated sodium channels. Holly was raised in Massachusetts and received her BS in chemistry from Yale University in 2015. She loves going on outreach visits because they provide opportunities to introduce students to the excitement of hands-on chemistry.