District 203 and 204 Students Participate in Argonne Lab Program

Argonne Lab Program
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Argonne Lab Program

High school students from districts 203 and 204 participated in an Argonne Lab program, the annual Exemplary Student Research Program (ESRP), held by U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory.

This school year, 2019-2020, the ESRP welcomed 137 students and 23 teachers from Chicagoland high schools, including Naperville Central, Metea Valley, and Neuqua Valley high schools.

The program begins at the beginning of the school year. School teams are matched with a scientist who provides research expertise for the students’ projects. Throughout the school year teams prepare their research proposals and develop their experiments. The scientist assigned to each school team helps to mentor them through their research.

Naperville Students

This year, Naperville students visited the Argonne campus in February.

“We got to ask a lot of questions not only related to our project but what the scientists did and how they got there,” said Naperville Central student Mitchell Zhen.

“In high school when you’re conducting experiments it’s like you’re in your element and everything is familiar to you,” said Naperville Central student Kathy Zhang. “But when you go to the facility, it’s actually pretty overwhelming at first because you see all this machinery and you’re like ‘where do I start, how do they even operate all of these things?” But it’s really interesting to see the scientists in their element.”

The Naperville Central team was able to work with a one of a kind x-ray tunneling microscope that allows individual atoms to be seen.

After their work all year collecting and analyzing the data and visiting the lab, the team designed a poster to showcase their research and present it to scientists and students from other schools. This is usually done in person with another visit to the lab, but had to be done virtually this year due to the pandemic.

School Teams

Here’s the list of names of all the students who participated in the ESRP program this year:

  • Naperville Central High School

Students: Kevin Chen, Hannah Fewkes, Sarah Hadjarab, Ziyin Wang, Colin Yao, Mitchell Zhen, Kathy Zheng

Teacher: Katherine Seguino

Scientist: Volker Rose, physicist, XSD

  • Metea Valley High School

Students: Nynika Badam, Jonathan Barker, Sahaja Danthurthy, Hariharan Kannan, Ayush Khot, Sannidhi Mohan, Pravallika Padyala, Xitali Sanchez, Diya Sharma, Rohan Vanjani, Zachary White

Teachers: Jonathan Ogrodnik, Vanessa Troiani

Scientist: Erica Duguid, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute

  • Neuqua Valley High School

Students: Kimmia Fotovat, William Fu, Kiana Mohammadian, Kevin Roberts, Muskan Sidhu, Sonia Suratkal

Teacher: Daria Prawlocki

Scientist: Denis Keane, Northwestern University

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.


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