On Friday, November 18, Rio Grande will host its first-ever scholarship competition for high school chemistry students. All high school seniors from throughout the region are invited to attend and take part in the competition. Although not a requirement, teachers from local high schools are also encouraged to attend along with their students in an effort to build relationships between the Rio Grande science faculty members and school districts within the region. The competition will include a one-hour exam, which will assess the students’ general knowledge of chemistry topics commonly taught in high school chemistry courses. After the exam, participating students will have the opportunity to talk with faculty members and students from Rio Grande’s Chemistry Department. The students will also be given a tour of the Rio Grande campus. Lunch will be provided to all of the students participating in the competition and their guests. Awards will be announced shortly after lunch. The top award will be a four-year, full-tuition scholarship, with several partial scholarships being awarded to runners-up.
Students interested in the competition must register by Friday, November 11. Registration is free, and information on registering (and exam topics) can be found on the Rio Grande Chemistry Department website, http://www.rio.edu/chemistry.
Rio Grande’s chemistry faculty members have been actively engaged in research and grant projects in recent years and have also expanded and upgraded the laboratory facilities. In the last five years, faculty members in the program have been awarded nearly $2 million in competitive grant funding. Students in the program have opportunities to work on research projects on campus, while they also are able to take part in internships in the region. In the spring, for example, Rio Grande was awarded a grant from the Pittsburgh Conference Memorial National College Grant program, and the funding from that grant was used to purchase an atomic absorption spectrometer used for trace-level detection of heavy metals. Rio Grande was one of only 12 of 59 projects from around the country awarded funding through this program. In addition, an instrumentation laboratory for student research on campus is currently being renovated and should be completed by early November. Students who study chemistry at Rio Grande are prepared for jobs in a wide range of fields, while they are also prepared to continue their studies in graduate schools.
For more information on the chemistry program at Rio Grande or on the scholarship competition for high school chemistry students, call Dr. John Means at Rio Grande at 1-800-282-7201. For additional information on the wide range of academic programs offered on Rio Grande’s scenic campus, log onto http://www.rio.edu.