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Jersey Shore High School organic chemistry students got a taste of college life recently when they visited a Lycoming College chemistry laboratory to learn beginning organic synthesis that they are unable to perform in their high school laboratory.
Led by Jersey Shore High School chemistry teachers, Alex Hunter ’09 and William Ferguson, the second-year students had been learning about organic chemistry, but were invited to the Lycoming College campus to put the knowledge into action. Chriss McDonald, the Frank and Helen Lowry Professor of Chemistry at Lycoming College, assisted the students in producing isoamyl acetate (banana oil) from simpler starting compounds, as well as having the students obtain infrared (IR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra of their products.
“Every organic reaction makes at least minor side products, and we were happy to help a local class close the loop on their lesson and expand their learning opportunities by hosting them here on the Lycoming College campus,” said McDonald. “The students enjoy it, and it’s always nice to catch up with alumni of our program.”
The Lycoming College chemistry program provides students with a foundational understanding of chemistry and valuable hands-on lab experience to prepare them for careers or graduate schools. Students benefit from research and internship opportunities, modern facilities and instrumentation, experienced faculty, and a low student-to-faculty ratio.