• The CEMS (Center for Elemental Mass Spectrometry) program at USC offers high school science students the opportunity to work in the CEMS lab. This semester's USC internship students (Merryn Courie, Quentin HIlley, and Porter Reyes), created the following research poster to summarize their work.   Elizabeth Link, AP Chemistry teacher, reports that each of our science students had exciting things to say throughout the semester and greatly enjoyed the experience... and that getting paid was a nice perk!
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  • The Dreher Science Faculty soon will begin the process of recruiting new applicants for the second semester.  Ms. Link will email students in the next two weeks. 
    Proposed Internship Program details (from USC):
    - 2-3 interns per USC academic semester; 10 week program, ~ 8 hours a week at $10/hour compensation.  Program duration is for 5 academic semesters, for a total of ten interns over the life of the project.
    -The students should be enrolled in or should have completed an Honors or AP course in chemistry. Older students who are looking at or applying to college would be best, so probably junior-year students or seniors in their fall semester will be considered.- Type of research work: Lab work involves dissolving and measuring the compositions of rock, mineral, and sediment samples. Some samples are blasted with a laser. The instruments are plasma-source mass spectrometers. Often, the elements we are interested in are in very low concentrations in our samples, but high concentrations in the environment.  The best example of this is Pb (lead).  This means we have to purify our reagents (mostly acids) in a clean room before dissolving our samples, lest we end up measuring more Pb from the acids and the environment than from our samples.
    You can check out the lab website here: http://www.cems-sc.org/- We will plan a self-contained research project for the interns that involves instruction, lab work, analyses, data treatment and a written report. The students will be supervised by a professor and a graduate student. Last semester we tested the Pb contents in drinking water from around Columbia and a pair of students from Dreher wrote a report assessing the results.- Student selection: The main criteria would be maturity and strong intellectual curiosity. Students will be nominated from the Dreher faculty. Diversity is an additional criterion as the earth sciences are chronically under-diverse, so minority and under-represented groups and/or students from challenging circumstances would be welcome.