Greene County News
BELLBROOK — Bellbrook Middle School‘s scientists recently participated in the Scanning Electron Microscope Educators (SEMEDS) after school program at Wright Patterson Air Force Base to use the Scanning Electron Microscope to zoom in to see these intricate details of specimens.
Recently, 18 students in Cathy St. Pierre’s seventh grade science classes participated in this after school program that brings local students and their teachers to WPAFB to operate state-of-the-art scanning electron microscopes in a real life laboratory setting. This educational outreach program is conducted by volunteers from across WPAFB and is sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory Materials and Manufacturing Directorate.
Cathy St. Pierre said, “Bringing students into this world-class facility, and introducing them to the elite researchers who work here, and allowing them to use the same equipment the scientists use in their laboratories is a very special experience that cannot be duplicated.”
The group of Bellbrook students included: Zane Bradley, Matthew Davidson, Sierra Hayslip, Savanna Higley, Finn Judd, Serena LaBello, Connor Luby, Morgan Moore, Riley Moore, Gabe Pavlak, Jake Razics, Dylan Schofield , Kolton Schwartz, Charlton Slader, Maggie Slauenwhite, Lindsay Smith, Kandi Ward, and Patrick Williams and both seventh grade science teachers, Cathy St. Pierre and Jennifer St. Pierre along with parent drivers.
The session begins with a brief explanation of SEM, how it works, and the scientific concepts behind it. Students are also briefed on typical careers and training needed in the microscopy field and the many diverse job and career opportunities that exist at WPAFB.
Students are then escorted to one of the SEM labs for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience first- hand what it’s like to use a $650,000 plus microscope to explore a wide variety of unique and everyday specimens. They zoomed in to see the intricacies of butterfly wings with scales, stomata on a leaf, Lincoln on a penny, ceramic, Velcro, and many, many, more specimens.
The students gave presentations to their science classes and shared the amazing pictures of their explorations with the scanning electron microscopes. Students also saw the huge $3 million Transmission Microscope that can show detail of individual atoms.