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Spearfish High School chemistry students visit BHSU Life Sciences Lab
Monday, May 18, 2015
Spearfish High School students conduct experiments with Dr. Micheal Zehfus, associate professor of chemistry at Black Hills State University. BHSU hosted the SHS chemistry classes on Tuesday and Wednesday, providing tours of the Life Sciences Lab on campus and conducting experiments with the groups, giving them hands-on experience with the University&rsquos chemistry labs.
Spearfish High School chemistry students got a chance to experiment in the college classroom during a visit to the Black Hills State University Life Sciences Lab recently.
Dr. Katrina Jensen, assistant professor of chemistry at BHSU, gave high school students tours of the department and answered students&rsquo questions about studying science at BHSU. Jensen, along with Dr. Micheal Zehfus, associate professor of chemistry at BHSU, conducted lab experiments with the students and showcased the instruments and classrooms in the University&rsquos science department.
Several students in the group said they were considering degrees in science, medicine or chemical engineering. Jensen, who is a BHSU and Spearfish High School graduate, said the University&rsquos chemistry program is ideal for students pursuing a degree in science.
"We have advanced instruments at BHSU that allow us to do a lot of experiments, students get to know their professors and have vast opportunities to complete research," Jensen told students.
BHSU prides itself on its extensive research opportunities and the chance to work closely with faculty mentors. BHSU students annually attend the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR), and other nation-wide research events, which allows them to showcase their work at the University and present their findings to researchers across the United States. While students toured campus, they were able to meet with several BHSU students completing research projects over the summer.
After touring the Life Sciences Lab, students conducted experiments in two groups. Experiments included measuring the amount of vitamin C and citric acid in the beverage Vitamin Water and examining a burnt piece of wood to determine the cause of the fire.
"It&rsquos important for students to be able to use the instruments we have on campus, actually completing experiments they can&rsquot do in a high school chemistry lab," Jensen said.
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