Lincoln-Way East Students Study alongside Argonne Scientists
Thursday, October 15, 2020

Lincoln-Way East students will soon be getting hands-on experience alongside top scientists at Argonne National Laboratory’s Center for Nanoscale Materials.

Through Argonne’s Exemplary Student Research Program, student teams conduct experiments using their particle accelerator called the Advanced Photon Source (APS). This year the following students are representing East in this program: Seniors- Jacob Shalabi, Greg Kwan, Ritul Soni, Jilllian Ketchen, Asher David, and Erica Strojny; Juniors- Aidan Dauber and Jillian Mills.

East’s students will work with Argonne scientist, Dr. Xuedan Ma at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), to prepare a research proposal, design and set up an experiment, gather and analyze data, make conclusions, and prepare a final poster.

“I believe this project is extremely important to all of the science students at East,” said Chemistry and Forensic Science teacher Mr. Benjamin Voliva. “Like having a great sports team represents the athletic greatness of Lincoln-Way East, having an all-star team of science students represents the intellectual greatness of East. It represents a goal that many are striving to accomplish. Additionally, the top tier universities in America are expecting their applicants to have experiences like this on their resumes. If we are to open the doors to those universities for our students, we have to provide opportunities like this for our top candidates to experience.”

This is the fourth year Lincoln-Way East has participated in the program. Previously, the Griffins tested catalytic converters, iron supplements, and heavy metals in sunflowers. Each year their project has had a definite conclusion. The research and design of both their poster and abstract prompted the students’ work to be displayed in the Learning Center at Argonne and on its education website.

“The Science Department is fortunate to have Mr. Voliva bring our students this research opportunity. I am always impressed with what our students learn during this process,” said Lincoln-Way East Science Department Chair Maria Wilson.

When asked why they wanted to be a part of this experience, students gave the following responses.

“Working with Argonne has been able to give me a peek behind the curtain at a real lab environment and it has helped me declare a future in science and engineering,” Jillian Ketchen, senior.

“I feel really excited about this experience because its gives students the unique opportunity to be in a real work environment. We are used to running experiments in our classes or making observations in the outdoors. But with Argonne, we can get a taste of what it's like to work in a lab and get a ‘behind the scenes’ look at how research is done,” senior Asher David.

“Argonne will help me far into my future and my career. For one, this unique experience will help me with my admission to rigorous colleges. This is a lucrative experience that will make you stand out in applications. Having an experience like this under my belt before going into college will also have me more prepared and knowledgeable while conducting myself in a college setting. My experience at Argonne is also a topic of discussion I can have with my professors, which will foster a better connection with them and will assist me down the line with finding research opportunities and more,” junior Aidan Dauber.