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Duquesne Pilots New ACS Summer Research Fellowship Program

This summer, three high school chemistry teachers from the Pittsburgh area are conducting hands-on research with Duquesne University scientists through a new pilot program sponsored by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Duquesne’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was selected as one of only four programs/institutions in the nation to participate in the new ACS Summer Research Fellowships for High School Chemistry Teachers. With the support of Motorola, the ACS summer fellowship is designed to give high school chemistry teachers and laboratory scientists the chance to work together toward the advancement of science.

Chemistry teachers Josh Lucas from Sto-Rox High School, Annette Oros from Fox Chapel High School and Nancy Silvia from Bishop Canevin High School were selected to work on research projects under the guidance of a Duquesne mentor from June 16 to Aug. 8. Lucas is working with Dr. Jennifer Aitken, assistant professor of chemistry, Oros is working with Dr. Mitch Johnson, associate professor of chemistry, and Silvia is working with Dr. Bruce Beaver, associate professor of chemistry.

“High school chemistry teachers want to have a real research experience because either they’ve never been in a lab or they have been out of the lab for too long,” explained Aitken, who is working with Lucas researching the synthesis and characterization of diamond-like semiconductors. “They are looking for something current, and the ACS Summer Research Fellowship provides the perfect opportunity for that.”

The summer research fellowship program, according to the ACS, also allows high school chemistry teachers to update their knowledge through conducting cutting-edge research and provides an experience that they can utilize to excite and motivate their own students toward careers in science.

“I am very excited and honored to be a part of this program. Research is the most exciting part of science,” said Aitken. “Through this program, we have the opportunity to inspire the high school teachers…and we are also affecting their students, who will undoubtedly benefit from the real world experience that their teacher can share with them.”

The ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and one of the world’s leading sources of authoritative scientific information. It is a nonprofit organization, chartered by Congress that is committed to “improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry.”

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.