High school women interested in STEM can now explore a whole range of subjects at Sweet Briar College. Chemistry is joining engineering, environmental science and math, with the first Explore Chemistry Weekend for High School Girls scheduled for Sept. 22 and 23.
The weekend is open to high school girls in their sophomore, junior and senior years. Participants will receive an introduction to chemistry through one of two hands-on projects with a Sweet Briar chemistry professor. Working in teams, they will collect samples from the campus environment, extract the chemical components and analyze them using state-of-the-art instrumentation.
“This will be a great way for high school students to gain a firsthand glimpse of what it is chemists actually do,” says Abraham Yousef, associate professor of chemistry and chair of the department. “We have access to acres of forested land with an abundance of plant and animal life, and we can show students how chemists identify and quantify some of the chemical substances in our environment.”
The weekend kicks off with an optional campus tour at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, followed by dinner and a project introduction. After staying the night in campus housing with student mentors, participants will spend Saturday working in teams on a research project of their choice. The day wraps at 6 p.m. with a project exhibition and dinner at the College’s tranquil boathouse.
The $35 fee includes room and board, snacks, supplies and a T-shirt. Participants are encouraged to register by Sept. 1 for highest priority. Space is limited to 16 students, and only fully paid event registrations reserve a student’s spot.