Main Menu

Seeding Your Future Initiative receives grant to offer free science workshops

ISSUED: 16 February 2022

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University’s Seeding Your Future Initiative received a $515 grant from the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to offer four science workshops to area middle and high school students. The grant money is being used to purchase supplies for the free workshops that are designed to introduce students to various sciences in a fun way.

The first of the four workshops took place February 10 and focused on natural product extraction of caffeine from soda, coffee, or tea. Dr. Haley Albright, assistant professor of chemistry, said almost 50 students from fifth to twelfth grades at area schools participated.

“They had a great time,” Albright said. “We are specifically catering to students in the area who, to some extent, are disadvantaged in different ways, whether that be in education, or upper-level education, or in exposure to a lot of science. By not only having them come listen to us, but also do hands-on experiments, we get them interested. We show science is available and accessible to them.”

Albright said the students who took the first workshop were excited to try something new.

“We want to offer fun, accessible activities that get students interested now and hopefully in the future for their careers or their aspirations in life and let them know that if they are interested in science they can go to college and that’s possible for them,” she said.

Three more workshops are planned this spring. On March 10, Dr. Jeff Groff, chair, Department of Environmental and Physical Sciences, will use materials such as popsicle sticks to explore how the mechanical designs of humans and nature are similar and different. On April 14, Dr. Sara Reynolds, assistant professor of biology, will introduce the four major categories of large, biologically important molecules and how these build up living things using food to illustrate. Dr. Sytil Murphy, associate professor of physics, and Dr. Jacqueline Cole, chair, Department of Chemistry, are developing a workshop for May 12 that will focus on water chemistry and exploring the effects of water pollution.

To learn more about the workshops and when registration opens for each of them, visit the Seeding Your Future Initiative Workshop Series website at or the Seeding Your Future Initiative Facebook page.

— 30 —