Haley Sproull extracts plant phytoliths for analysis with polarization microscopy, SEM-EDS and FT-IR spectroscopy.

Haley and her mentor, Chantel Tester, at the Regional Science Fair

Chantel Tester mentored High School junior, Haley Sproull, who studied strontium sequestration in plant phytoliths as a model for phytoremediation of radioactive waste. She presented her award-winning project at the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.


Haven Middle School students discover science using our mobile lab. Here, they set up their experiment involving ACC synthesis in live sea urchin embryos.
We are actively involved in several K-12 outreach projects at NU. For example, Chantel and Ann have developed a mobile lab "sea urchin embryo" module and used it to run experiments at Haven Middle School in Evanston as part of the Haven and Northwestern Discover Science (HANDS) program.
Ann Wu mentored intern Rhiannon Flanagan-Rosario, an Evanston Township High School (ETHS) student in the context of her honors biology course. We hosted numerous lab tours, among others for the "Saturday Enrichment Program" of the Center for Talent Development and the "Take our daughters to work day" at NU.

High School Junior Rhiannon Flanagan-Rosario (left and her mentor Ching Hsuan "Ann" Wu (right) working on a Hitachi S4800 HR-FESEM as part of Rhiannon's project.

Mr. Manuel Almazan, a bilingual Mexican-American teacher at a high school with a large minority student body who participated in the NU NSEC RET program worked with Chantel in the summer of 2009.


Jan Br├╝ckner, a German participant of the MRSEC REU program stayed with us in the summer of 2009, working with Chantel.


We are delighted to partner with the Chicago Botanic Garden for outreach to a broad audience in Chicagoland. In collaboration with Dr. Jennifer Schwarz and Dr. Patrick Herendeen at the CBG, rising freshman Kathryn Halpern initiated the development of a "Murder Mystery" activity in the summer of 2010. We are currently looking for interns and/or undergraduates interested in further developing this activity (see Employment)



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Northwestern University
Materials Science and Engineering Department
2220 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208-3108