Local top high school students spent the past six weeks conducting college-level chemistry and biochemistry research at NDSU. Now they get the chance to show off their work.
The Summer Research Symposium in the Molecular Sciences is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 2, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union Plains room. Students will present posters on the their research. Hosted by the NDSU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the event is free and open to the public.
Each summer the department hosts students from area high schools as part of the Parents Involvement with Children, Nurturing Intellectual Curiosity in Science program. Also known as PICNICS, the program informs parents and their children about recent advancements in science andtechnology, and encourages high school juniors and seniors to consider science as a career path.
Under the direction of NDSU faculty, students from Fargo North High School, Fargo Davies High School and Northern Cass High School conducted a variety of research alongside graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
One of this year’s students studied the use of light as a reagent to synthesize chemical compounds and develop environmentally benign, green strategies to perform chemical reactions. Another student worked on synthesizing chemicals from biomass to be used to make everyday materials like plastics.
“Students learn how modern chemical methods can be utilized for synthesizing compounds with minimal impact on the environment,” said Sivaguru Jayaraman, NDSU associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry. “All have been top-notch students and essentially carried out research similar to undergraduate students who work in our labs.”
Initiated in 2007 as part of Jayaraman’s National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development program, PICNICS has developed into a summer internship program that typically hosts five or six high school students. They undergo safety training to perform research and learn about the instrumentation used in a laboratory setting. Jayaraman, Mukund Sibi, Gregory Cook, Erika Offerdahl, Svetlana Kilina and Guodong Liu, all NDSU faculty, hosted students in their research groups.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.