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Allegany County High School Students Experience FSU Chemistry Laboratories

Allegany County High School Students Experience FSU Chemistry Laboratories
Allegany High School 11th graders Sean Wade, left, and Jared Klemm, right, conduct a lotion experiment inside an FSU chemistry laboratory as Assistant Professor Dr. Matthew Crawford checks their work. The experience was part of a field trip exposing Advanced Placement chemistry students from area high schools to specialized equipment in college laboratories.

Allegany County high school students are getting a sneak peek at college chemistry at Frostburg State University.

Juniors and seniors in Advanced Placement chemistry courses at Allegany, Fort Hill and Mountain Ridge high schools visited FSU on Thursday, Jan. 14, where they were able to use specialized equipment not found in their high schools.

“We’re exposing them to different career fields in chemistry as well as getting them into the college-level laboratories to get that experience,” said FSU Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Matthew Crawford, who is also a 2006 FSU alumnus.

Students spent time in Compton Science Center laboratories making their own lotions by using emulsifiers, stabilizers, fatty acids and oils. This side of chemistry shows off the breadth of career by detailing product development in cosmetics, Crawford said.

Another laboratory featured students learning how to extract essential oils from spices and analyzing the results. Most of the equipment used in this experiment isn’t found in high school labs, such as the gas chromatograph mass spectrometry instrument, which can analyze the chemistry of compounds without decomposing the substance. In this case, it allowed them to see what oils were extracted from the spices.

“They get to experience what the instrument does and what its capabilities are,” Crawford said. “They will see that if they choose careers in chemistry or science, and when they come to college, they’ll already have some experience with those instruments.”

The experience was made possible by a FSU Foundation Opportunity Grant.

To make a gift to the FSU Foundation’s Annual Fund, which supports Opportunity Grants, visit and click on Make a Gift, or call 301-687-4161. For information on the FSU Department of Chemistry, visit


For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589