By Caitlin Schudalla
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Noble High School juniors and seniors in Roger Clement’s Chemistry II class got a special preview of what professional chemistry and engineering would be like as they presented the fruit of semester-long projects in a mock trade show Thursday morning.
Students were divided into groups at the beginning of the semester and were instructed to use polymer labs to design, create, test and market practically applicable products — complete with commercials.
“The students had four deadlines over the semester and my role was to be a facilitator at best,” Clement said. “It was very student-driven, they used as many resources as possible and I’m proud of what they accomplished.”
Student groups’ products varied from property improvement items like a hail shield for vehicles to recreational items like a child’s toy or fire-safe candle container.
“This class was structured to resemble projects that students would do in college-level engineering classes, so they’ll be more prepared for that setting now that they’ve had this experience,” Clement said.
As a participant in the University of Oklahoma’s K20 Center for Educational and Community renewal, Clement’s class was supported by the center’s Success grant, and K20 staff members attended the trade show to act as potential clients.
“I learned so much this semester, especially with the marketing angle,” junior Nathan Murray said. “We called manufacterers of flame-resistant sprays and sealants who were really reluctant to share information with us about chemical compounds/production, but some were very helpful.”
Murray and his fellow group members, senior Zach Lewis and junior Kris Vance, developed an insulation which could be marketed to companies that build and sell safes.
“I plan to go into chemical engineering in college, so this project was a great experience for me,” Lewis said. “We’ll hopefully take this project a step further and investigate actually selling it.”