Coe receives $9,700 grant to fund new scientific instrument

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
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2010-05-27 09:40:46 - General

Coe College has received a $9,700 Pittsburgh Conference Memorial National College Grant (PCMNG) award to help purchase a new instrument that will aid in experiments focusing on the role of metals in the environment. The grant was awarded to the Coe Chemistry Department to be used toward the purchase of a flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer for use by students in the first-year chemistry curriculum.

The grant proposal, written by Chemistry Professor Martin St. Clair, was one of 12 selected for funding from 60 proposals received by the PCMNG program. The equipment will expand opportunities for Coe students as the chemistry department updates its introductory curriculum to utilize more discovery-based laboratories to expose students to instrumental tools used by many practicing chemists.

The new instrument will benefit approximately 100 biology and chemistry students annually as it is used to conduct a variety of experiments over the course of a student's first academic year.

"We think it is important to introduce students early in their careers to the tools that chemists use," said St. Clair. "By using real-life examples, students become more engaged with the concepts we teach in the class."

The cost of the new instrument totals $19,400. Coe has committed to match the grant funds to account for the total cost.

Proposed experiments include studying reactions in aqueous solution and analyzing computer waste leachate. Additionally, students will utilize the instrument to measure concentrations of calcium, magnesium, and sodium in two local streams.

With one of the leading undergraduate science programs in the country, Coe science departments have received more than $3 million in grants over the past decade.