Twenty-eight South Bend high school students from Notre Dame’s TRiO Upward Bound program (UB) learned what it was like to do research on a college campus. ND Energy coordinated hands-on experiences for the group in three different fields of science and engineering affiliated with energy research.
Assistant Professor Emily Tsui from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry provided two sessions to explore crystal formation. Her team brought the group into the lab to create their own crystals and showed them the techniques and instruments they work with on a daily basis. Thanks to Moises Ballesteros, Keith Schival, Jonathan Stoffel, Greg Kortman, and Maddie Mettey for their assistance.
A second learning experience involved interacting with researchers working with the Center for Innovative and Strategic Transformation of Alkane Resources (CISTAR). William Schneider, H. Clifford and Evelyn A. Brosey Professor of Engineering, summarized the goals of the center and engaged the students in discussion. They also toured the catalysis lab where Notre Dame’s portion of the experimentation is progressing and participated in a hands-on demonstration. Graduate students who aided in this portion of the tour were Justin Easa, Jeonghyun Ko, Joshua Wright, Jerry Crum, Neha Mehra, Galiya Magazova, Jessica Muhlenkamp, and undergraduate Aaron Roe.
The third event was “Life as a Geologist” presented by Ginger Sigmon, managing director of ND Energy; postdoctoral scholar Tyler Spano; and graduate student Samuel Perry. In addition to explaining the wide variety of topics that geologists study, the three discussed some of the interesting places they have traveled as geologists.
Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., initiated Upward Bound in 1966 as a way to prepare, support, and enrich educational opportunities for talented high school students. During the Summer Academy, participants live on campus and take courses such as Algebra II and Pre-Calculus. Over 2,000 local students have benefited from this program since its inception.