Scientific Instrument Training

In this course, you will be trained on two fundamental instruments found in the chemistry lab: high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and flame atomic absorption spectroscopy (FAAS). Mornings will typically be spent on lecture material related to solution preparation, experimental design, concepts behind the instruments, and data analysis. Afternoons will be for tinkering with the instruments. For the first week, half of you will work on the HPLC; the other half will be on FAAS. Then you’ll switch, teaching each other how to start the instrument, how to run the instrument, and, most importantly, how to not break the instrument. We will investigate dyes found in natural materials like saffron, onion skins, and madder root. We will also examine the amount of calcium, iron, and magnesium in breakfast cereal. You will learn invaluable skills that will look good on your resume and increase your competitiveness for internships. In fact, one of your assignments will be to apply for a summer research internship. So if you are interested in pursuing chemistry and gaining valuable experience in the lab, this course is for you!