MilliporeSigma visit to PHS

Photos by Carrie Pieper and Kerry Frederickson

Chemists visit PHS classes

Posted December 19, 2016

Four chemists from MilliporeSigma recently visited chemistry classes at Plymouth High School to demonstrate concepts with chemicals they produce.

The visit came about after PHS chemistry teachers Carrie Pieper and Jay Grosshuesch visited MilliporeSigma during a Plymouth School District professional development day.

“We have been working towards the opportunity for staff and/or students to shadow at their facility and the opportunity of their staff to visit with activities tied in to our units of study,” Mrs. Pieper said. “The company wants to share with local schools what they do, promoting STEM fields of study while showing the students the fun of chemistry.”

As a result, the four chemists visited PHS on Nov. 28. The chemists – two of whom are parents of PHS students – were:

  • Kerry Frederickson, senior quality assurance specialist, and Brooke and Ryan’s mom
  • Doug Williamson, supervisor of Analytical R&D, and Catherine’s dad
  • Wesley Patterson, principal scientist with Hazard Evaluation Group
  • Cory Leonhardt, research chemist with Hazard Evaluation Group

The scientists addressed chemiluminescence – chemical reactions that release light in the absence of heat – first demonstrating an example of chemiluminescence on a large scale, and then guiding students in a related experiment on a smaller scale.

The visit was part of a unit on energy for first-year chemistry students, who are learning about changes caused by energy.

“Our goal was to have the students experience first-hand and understand a unique example of a change (the release of light) brought about by energy,” Mr. Grosshuesch said.

In addition, each of the chemists gave a brief review of his or her career path and his or her specific role at Sigma-Millipore. “We were hoping the students could gain an appreciation and understanding of some specific STEM careers that exist in the field of chemistry,” he added.