Chemistry Summer Camp - Day 2: Limonene Extraction at Kalamazoo College

Yesterday I posted about Day 1 of the Chemistry Camp I hosted that was supported by the Portage Education Foundation. Day 2 was fun-filled and involved a field trip to Kalamazoo College to do some organic chemistry. Who doesn’t like field trips!?


During the STEP Camp proposal time period I was planning and dreaming and designing curriculum ideas for the kids to take part in. I had met Jeff Bartz (@laserbartz) through a colleague of mine at BCCE at Grand Valley State University last summer. Jeff is a physical chemistry professor at Kalamazoo College and his kids went to school in my district. I contacted Jeff this past spring on Twitter and asked if he would be able to arrange a day for high school students to come in and work in a college lab. He proposed the idea at a department meeting and the chemistry department went for it! Eventually I was emailing with Kent Lawrence (assistant stockroom manager) at Kalamazoo College and we had decided on a lab activity for the students: limonene extraction followed by GC/MS characterization.


The lab went well and the students expressed satisfaction and enjoyment with the field trip to work in a college chemistry lab. Below are some pictures from the day.
















A student’s orange peel extraction set-up sits on the lab bench.





















A student pours off her limonene extraction product in a gravity filtration set-up after drying with anhydrous sodium sulfate.















Kent Lawrence explains what is taking place inside the GC/MS and how the sample is injected.















Jeff Bartz shows students his research lab (with lasers) and introduces them to his current summer researchers.