Luther College student researches chemistry outreach

August 17, 2017

With a greater focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics in schools, more children are being encouraged to look at pursuing a career in these fields. Kathleen Woods, Luther College senior of Savanna, Illinois, helped develop and implement the Adventures with Chemistry middle school camp for her summer research project at the college.

Woods, the daughter of Dan and Suzanne Woods, of Savanna, is a 2014 graduate of West Carroll High School. She is majoring in biology at Luther.

“It is a privilege and a duty to educate the coming generations in the importance and wonder of science,” said Woods.

Woods worked with Molly Wilker, Luther assistant professor of chemistry, and Olga Michels, professor of chemistry, on her project.

Along with other summer research students, the trio worked to develop an outreach program that would provide hands-on opportunities for middle school students to explore chemistry. Woods worked to develop activities for students during the pilot program. Held July 10-12, Woods and other students served as mentors to the campers, helping them learn to make scientific observations, explore chemical changes and create connections between chemistry and everyday life.

This project was funded by the Monticello College Foundation, an organization which promotes the advancement of education for women.

Luther’s Student-Faculty Summer Research projects provide students an opportunity to research topics of interest alongside Luther faculty. This program is one of a wide selection of experiential learning opportunities at Luther intended to deepen the learning process and that are part of Luther’s academic core.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,150, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college’s website: