Grad student assists young woman with pipette in chemistry bench lab

Field trip: Local students experience a day in the life of a UMass scientist

May 14, 2019

Middle and high school students from Commonwealth Academy in Springfield toured some UMass labs, welcomed by Vince Rotello, chemistry, and his graduate students.  

Collage of grad students and high school visitors in Rotello lab

Students heard a talk by professor Rotello about his research in using nanomaterials as antimicrobials, met undergraduate students working in the lab, toured the extensive microscopy facilities in the Life Sciences Laboratories, and had lunch at Worcester Dining Commons. 

In the afternoon, the lab’s graduate students gave their visitors an even more immersive experience. Visitors got to try pipetting growth medium in preparation for growing bacteria, mixing emulsions with an amalgamator, and using an essential oil-based solution to kill bacterial biofilms. Some clustered around a world map on display in the lab, with small stickers scattered on nearly every continent, showing where members of the lab community had originally come from. 

Akash Gupta holds up two test tubes for comparison

“We’d love to do more of these tours,” said Akash Gupta, the graduate student who coordinated the day’s events, as students turned in their lab safety glasses. They were off again for one more tour, of the Transmission (TEM) and Scanning (SEM) Electron Microscopes in the Conte Polymer Research Center.  

Collage 2 of grad students and high school visitors in Rotello lab

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