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A group of Eastern Christian High School Students, recently visited the NYU laboratory. Upon arrival, the students toured the ‘Shared Instrument Facility’ where instruments are housed for the entire department and used to characterize materials. The objective of doing this was to expose the students to the different techniques one can use to identify exactly what his/her material is composed of. A list of the instrumentation is available on NYU’s website.

The students split into two sub-groups: one that learned about optical properties of materials and how light interacts with different materials. For example, the splitting of white light in a prism or the diffraction pattern of a crystal upon shining a laser through it.

The other group did hands on demos in small groups. These demos required them to work in small groups and follow the scientific method to explore and create a fluid, solid, and polymer material. The objective was to get the students to think about what they were doing and predict what will happen instead of blindly following a procedure. After about 45 minutes, the students switched and those learning about optics then did the demos and vice versa.

There were 4 graduate students/postdocs hosting from the department. Their research focuses include optical properties of materials, instrument building to study these optical properties, and crystal growth kinetics and mechanism using atomic force microscopy and computational modeling.

Eastern Christian will be maintaining a relationship with NYU and applying to Project SEED to have a few students work with Professors on projects during the summer thru the American Chemical Society.