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School District News
WLWV Student Scientists Use Hitachi TM 4000 Scanning Electron Microscope in Preparation for Science Fair Season
Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 2/26/2020 2:00:00 PM
Every year, dozens of West Linn-Wilsonville student scientists compete against the brightest young minds in Oregon, participating in science fair competitions at the regional, state, and national levels. Not only that, but hundreds of WLWV students have been recognized for their scientific achievements in past ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair) competitions. That will almost certainly be the case once again this year when high school students submit projects this spring following months of research and hard work.
Students have spent months, even years in some cases, conducting research and curating projects in preparation for the science fair season. For many, that research has been aided by access to state-of-the-art equipment through a partnership with the Hitachi — one of the leading scientific technology companies in the world.
Specifically, students have utilized a Hitachi TM 4000 scanning electron microscope (SEM) in their research. This research-grade microscope allows students to capture and analyze high-quality images of microscopic samples. The device provides measurements, allowing students to better document samples for comparison during experimentation. In addition, the Hitachi Inspire program has arranged the loan of an Oxford Energy Dispersive X-Ray System (EDS), a chemical microanalysis technology that makes it possible to conduct elemental analysis of specimens.
Students have used the (SEM) in a variety of ways. One student, for example, has used this microscope to analyze diatom species (environmentally sensitive microalgae) and their morphology in a river impacted by high levels of agricultural irrigation runoff in comparison to diatoms collected from the Nature Conservancy Camassia ponds located nearby West Linn High School. Another project, meanwhile, examined ocean water and marine fish gills to characterize the types of microplastics found in sample. A third project involves analyzing the degradation of a bioplastic made in the school chemistry lab. The SEM has allowed students to collect more data that is consistent and reliable, including research that wouldn’t be otherwise possible.
The machine will be available for student-use through the science fair season and into the summer. This partnership was made possible through Project Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Outreach (NANO) — a Portland State University science education outreach program that trains and teaches students to use the complex machinery. West Linn-Wilsonville ISEF Program Coordinator Dr. Jennifer Wells’ involvement in the program as the Principal Investigator led to a symbiotic relationship with Hitachi and this unique opportunity for students. Monthly progress reports have been shared with Hitachi for inclusion in the monthly newsletter for employees and dealers. This spring, student projects will be showcased on the Hitachi website, showcasing ISEF students’ research to the larger scientific community worldwide.
In addition to improved research, the opportunity has allowed for West Linn-Wilsonville students to connect with peers in neighboring school districts. The District has worked in tandem with schools and high school students in local school districts allowing for interested student scientists to also utilize the powerful piece of equipment. Lake Oswego School District, for example, has integrated the SEM into elementary, middle, and high school science and engineering classes, thus fostering the development of a strong scientific community amongst our local student researchers.
The West Linn Wilsonville School District student scientists’ hard work will culminate with the 19th Annual CREST-Jane Goodall Science Symposium on March 10th at West Linn High School with a public viewing of posters from 5:30 to 7:30 PM in the Auxiliary Gym. From there, 50 judge-selected projects will advance to proudly represent our District at the state level Northwest Science Expo and at least four students will proceed on to compete at the international level in the spring at ISEF.
For more information on the instrument loan program or about the District level ISEF program, please contact Jennifer Wells at Wellsj@wlwv.k12.or.us.
Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 2/20/2020 4:00:00 PM
Health Science professionals from across West Linn and Wilsonville joined West Linn High School students on Thursday, Feb. 20 to discuss various health science careers and how students can get started. Students spent part of lunch on Thursday learning about health careers from local professionals, including dental, physical therapy, pharmacy, and nursing fields. Dentists, dental assistants, dental hygienists, physical therapists, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and registered nurses provided information and networking opportunities for interested students.
Thank you to Advance Sports and Spine Therapy, Advance Dental Arts, Hi-School Pharmacy, and Providence Home Health for joining our students! To learn more about career opportunities, check out the CREST Internship Pathways Program webpage.
Welcome to the West Linn-Wilsonville School District!
Our incredible students, talented staff, supportive and dedicated community make this a tremendous place in which to learn and lead.
Our school district guides us with a compelling vision question, “How do we create learning communities for the greatest thinkers and most thoughtful people…for the world?”
This question challenges us to continually hone our practices and skills in creating exceptional learning environments for our students. The question also challenges us to implement practices that help our students grow as thoughtful citizens and compassionate humanitarians. Together, the vision question prompts us to continually engage our students’ minds and hearts. As the late poet, Maya Angelou declares, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
We pledge to do our best when working with the children entrusted in our care. This year holds great promise, great opportunities and great accomplishments for each of them.