This February, Belmont’s Department of Chemistry and Physics hosted its second annual guided-inquiry chromatography workshop for high school chemistry students. Over a two-day period, 39 high school chemistry students from 11 schools attended “Sweet Sweet Chemistry: A Chromatography Challenge.” Several students traveled from as far away as Jackson and Clarksville to participate in this hands-on workshop.
After an interactive discussion covering topics including polarity, solubility and chromatography, each student worked to extract dye from candy and develop the best solvent system for separating the dye mixture. This year, sophomore biochemistry and molecular biology major Christopher Hansen was on hand to help answer student questions.
Event organizer and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Education Dr. Danielle Garrett was thrilled to do this workshop again. The event is intended to provide students with a fun and engaging full-length chemistry lab experience that requires critical thinking. One teacher mentioned how much she enjoys these experiences saying, “I love being able to let my students stretch their chemistry legs and be exposed to other things that I cannot do in our lab and time frame.”
“Developing and teaching these workshops gives me the opportunity to share my love for teaching chemistry in a unique and interactive way, not only with the high school students but also with Belmont students,” Garrett said. “I think these workshops also provide a wonderful opportunity to engage our students here at Belmont in becoming agents of science – giving them a greater understanding and appreciation for how individuals can engage in efforts to make a positive difference in how science in seen by their community.”