You are here

Ames Lab hosts Science Bound students

Ames Laboratory hosted more than 130 Science Bound eighth grade students and teachers from Des Moines, Marshalltown, and Denison on Saturday, Sept. 29. Science Bound is Iowa State University’s premier pre-college program to empower Iowa students of color to pursue degrees and careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. Ames Laboratory scientists and staff were on hand to provide up close demonstrations of physics, chemistry and materials science.

Education and Outreach Director Steve Karsjen started the morning by welcoming the students and teachers. Steve also offered a brief presentation on the Laboratory’s history and commented on the work the Laboratory does today. After the welcome, Materials Preparation Center program manager Matt Besser demonstrated the properties of tempered glass with assistance from human resources and diversity director Chelsey Aisenbrey.

Postdoctoral researchers Kinjal Gandha and Rakesh Chaudary demonstrated Lenz's Law and the world's simplest electric train. Associate scientist Durga Paudyal talked about rare earths, and assistant scientist Denis Prodius explained chemical separation of rare earth oxalates. Materials preparation center program manager Matt Besser demonstrated energy conversion and temperature dependent materials properties and senior research technician Hal Sailsbury showed the elements of the periodic table for students to touch and see. All of the scientists did a tremendous job of representing Ames Laboratory and cultivating scientific interest from the students.

This is an annual event that occurs each fall, and it is instrumental in promoting the field of science to the next generation. Further, we continually seek new and exciting demonstrations for the Science Bound eighth grade students and teachers. If you are interested in facilitating a science demonstration at the next event, please contact Katie Augustus ( 

Below are photos taken at the event.

Students listen to Steve Karsjen's presentation on the history of Ames Laboratory.

Materials Preparation Center manager Matt Besser discusses the importance of safety prior
to the science demonstrations.

Kinjal Gandha and Rakesh Chaudhary facilitate a demonstration on Lenz's Law with copper
tubes and magnets. 

Students participate in a demonstration of magnetic currents.

Durga Paudyal discusses rare earth elements with students.

A student hefts a piece of metal at the elements demonstration station with Hal Sailsbury.

Denis Prodius uses a toy washing machine to demonstrate the chemical separation of rare
earth oxalates process. 

Volunteers (l-r) Rakesh Chaudhary, Matt Besser, Katie Augustus, Hal Sailsbury, Kinjal Gandha,
Durga Paudyal, Chelsey Aisenbrey, and Denis Prodius gather for a photo to celebrate a
successful Science Bound visit.