Skip to main content

Sharpsville Area High School Students Visit Westminster for Science Outreach Program

Share on:

Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2018

On May 18, students from Sharpsville Area High School visited Westminster College as part of the American Chemical Society (ACS) ambassadors program— a chemistry and environmental science outreach program. The students got to experience college-level STEM coursework, with field, lab and classroom-based science activities.

Westminster alumna Merrissa Malcolm Nyguen '12 brought 26 Sharpsville chemistry students who participated in the activities hosted by professor of chemistry Dr. Helen Boylan. Through the ACS ambassadors  program, Nguyen collaborates with Boylan who serves as a “Science Coach,” working with Nguyen to plan activities and connect classroom learning to the real world.

Chemistry major Sarah Harris ’19 assisted with the laboratory portion of the activity, where the students tested for lead in a variety of consumer products, while environmental science major Victoria Libson '21 helped with the field testing of water quality of the Little Neshannock and Britain Lake.

“As part of the experience, students used advanced chemical instrumentation called laser induced breakdown spectroscopy or LIBS to test consumer products for the presence of lead and other elements,” Boylan stated. “The students were really fascinated by this technique.”

For more information, contact Boylan at or 724-946-6293.