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Summer science research: Students synthesize nanoparticles to increase battery performance

August 21, 2009

  • Robin Osofsky '11

At Lewis & Clark, the lazy days of summer are anything but. Devoting 40 hours a week to rigorous scientific research, an elite group of students perform collaborative research with faculty each summer.

Junior chemistry majors Robin Osofsky and Eric Randall worked with Assistant Professor of Chemistry Anne Bentley this summer, exploring the ability to incorporate nanoparticles into thin metal oxide films used in lighting and batteries. If successful, the project could potentially improve the performance of lithium ion batteries, which are commonly used in cell phones and other rechargeable devices.

The Rogers Summer Science Research program affords students the opportunity to conduct advanced research alongside faculty members, preparing students for careers in the sciences.

“The Rogers Program pays you to do science…And you’re on campus, working in a field that’s related to your major,” Randall said. “One of the good things about Lewis & Clark is that as an undergrad you can do research and have a lot more independence than even some graduate students at other schools.”

Learn more about the group’s nanoparticle research and their experiences in the Rogers Program in this podcast (mp3).


About the program

The John S. Rogers Science Research Program allows students to participate in graduate-level research with an emphasis on strengthening their communication skills by requiring presentations of their findings. This summer, 40 students are pursuing topics that range from nanoparticles to neuromodulators, and binary stars to drinking behaviors. Working closely with peers and faculty members, students undertake research questions and present their work in two public venues.

“We’re not asking you anymore, ‘What’s the answer,’ we’re saying ‘What’s the question,” said Michael Broide, director of the Rogers Program and chair of the physics department. “I think what sets our program apart is that regardless of what project you are on, we’re all going to come together as a group to present what we’re doing in as accessible a way as possible. In science, it’s such an important skill to be able to explain cogently what you’re doing.”

In this podcast (mp3), learn more about the history of the program and hear what it offers students, faculty, and the community at large.


Students make their final research presentation at the Rogers Summer Science Poster session. Scheduled for September 16, the poster session is free and open to the public.

*Senior Emily Stevens produced these podcasts.

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