Engaging Summer Research Project

Engaging Summer Research Project photo
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Shoreham-Wading River High School students Torre Ann Parrinello and Brianna Donnelly, along with Science Research teacher Dana Schaefer attended Brookhaven National Laboratory’s “Biogeochemical Imaging with a New Light” program. They were members of an elite group of students and educators who worked with scientists at the National Synchrotron Light Source II. Operated by the Department of Energy, the facility is one of the largest and most advanced light sources in the world, producing bright, broadband light, used for many applications in science, from environmental analysis to medical applications and materials science. Each day of the weeklong program was spent learning the science behind techniques such as X-ray diffraction, small angle X-ray scattering and infrared microscopy. After learning techniques of sample preparation in one of BNL’s wet labs, the students examined their samples on one of the beam lines of the NSLS-II. From there, they analyzed the data through several complex computer programs to determine the chemical composition of the sample they had prepared. Scientific collaboration was a key lesson of the week, as all of the students involved will submit project proposals as a collaborative group for beam time and access to the facility during the 2018-19 school year.