shannon-davis            Shannon Davis has been named one of the Spring 2016 Undergraduates of the Quarter and we could not be happier.  Shannon grew up in a modest suburb of Seattle.  She attended Lynnwood High School which she reported was incredibly ethnically diverse and described her experience there as awesome.  She took AP Chemistry while there and remembers Chemistry being the only AP test she didn’t pass.  “That’s why I chose Chemistry,” she remembers.  “I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.”

She came to OSU because she wanted to attend a PAC-12 school and with her choices being OSU and UW, she wanted something a little smaller and a little farther from home, so OSU was the obvious choice.  “Plus,” she said, “my dad went here.”  She originally matriculated into Chemistry with a chemical engineering option, but quickly discovered she liked the general chemistry sequence and switched to the advanced chemistry option.  She remembers having Dr. Richard Nafshun for her general chemistry instructor and said it was an amazing experience.

Shannon says her favorite class has been the Experimental Chemistry series with Dr. Christine Pastorek and Emile Firpo.  She also stated that they quickly became her favorite instructors.

Shannon has been doing Undergraduate Research for Dr. Jennifer Field since just after fall term of her junior year.  She said she trained for a whole year before she was able to do actual research.  Now, she’s using liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to close mass balance in soil extractions.  She says it’s been challenging and slower going than she thought originally.

When asked about extra-curricular activities, Shannon indicated that what she really enjoyed were the Family Science and Engineering Nights and Discovery Days.  The outreach and chemistry volunteer work were a lot of fun.

Upon graduation, Shannon will be attending U Mass Boston to study marine science.  She’s currently unsure of what she wants to do post-PhD, but is leaning toward teaching.  She does know, she’s excited about moving cross-country.

Congratulations, Shannon!  It is talented students like you that make OSU Chemistry such as special place.

Attracting children to science

By McKinley Smith

Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 02:05

Discovery DaysKevin RagsdaleOSU’s Sigma Delta Omega sorority, leads kids through a dry ice experiment during Discovery Days at the LaSells Stewart Center.



Discovery Days2Kevin RagsdaleBrad’s World Reptiles brings a juvenile alligator to Discovery Days.




Thirty-three school groups from Linn and Benton counties came to Tuesday’s half of the semi-annual Discovery Days event, with grades as young as kindergarten and as old as sixth grade represented among the expected number of nearly 1000 children per day.
Discovery Days is sponsored by the Colleges of Science and Engineering and relies on volunteers to run stations showcasing science and engineering for children from schools in cities like Sweet Home and Lebanon. Nearly 75 volunteers — mostly Oregon State University students — submitted applications to assist.

Margie Haak, Discovery Days coordinator and a senior instructor in chemistry, has been working with Discovery Days for 10 years, but can remember chaperoning her oldest son’s class to the event when it was called Museum Days — her son is now 28.
The event provides an opportunity for students to gain exposure to “doing science rather than reading about it,” Haak said.

“We’re in the position that we can offer them things that they can’t do in the schools,” Haak said. “These are our future students.”

Discovery Days takes place at the LaSells Stewart Center on the south side of the OSU campus.

Jasper LaFortune’s station featured a beaker of water and dry ice that produced carbon dioxide, which students scooped up in plastic cups.

“Kids can take a cup and dip it in and drink it and throw it on their friends and have a lot of fun with it,” LaFortune, a freshman in computer science, said.
The sorority, Sigma Delta Omega, was also represented, presenting two demonstrations featuring dry ice.

“It’s just a really fun way for us to interact with children and expand the knowledge of science throughout our community,” said Rachel Grisham, a freshman in biology and a Sigma Delta Omega member.

“Teaching students, especially female students, about science is very important,” Haak said.

Taylor McAnally, a freshman in human development and education, helped children learn about light, reflectivity and temperature.

“They get a chance to come play and really learn one-on-one with hands-on stuff,” McAnally said.

For Abdu Alyajouri, a second grader from Franklin elementary school, it was his sixth time at Discovery Days. His favorite station was one that involved static electricity because he “got to shock people,” he said.
Sophia Bell, another second grader at Franklin, also said she liked the static station.

“I like the static one because it’s really fun to shock people,” Bell said.

Bell said she likes science and wants to be a teacher.

Discovery Days continues from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
McKinley Smith, news reporter