EWU chemistry student Nicholas Henry gained valuable undergraduate research hours and STEM teaching experience in a paid fellowship last summer at the University of Washington Clean Energy Institute in Seattle. Through the STEM Teacher and Researcher (STAR) Program, Henry worked with researcher Brandi Cossairt, a chemist specializing in synthetic inorganic chemistry.

The pair researched “doping quantum dots” and “magic sized clusters” to observe how they fluoresced. The goal of the research is to find safe alternatives for the display industry so that televisions and computers can produce more color ranges without the use of toxic compounds such as cadmium.

Nicholas Henry, EWU chemistry student

Henry also developed lesson plans to bring these ideas into high school classrooms. The STAR Program, according to its website, aims to produce excellent K-12 STEM teachers by providing aspiring teachers with opportunities to do authentic research while helping them translate their research experience into classroom practice.

When Henry returned to EWU in the fall, he shared his lesson plans and his research experience with fellow Noyce Scholars. The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program supports and encourages talented STEM students to pursue teaching careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).