Discovering Green Energy Solutions

This summer, new Whitfield chemistry teacher Chris Sellers had the opportunity to conduct green energy research at the Bryce Sadtler Lab at Washington University in St. Louis. He was part of a National Science Foundation partnership with the Institute for School Partnership that engaged a high school chemistry teacher (Mr. Sellers) in both scientific research and curriculum development on the topics of solid-state chemistry and nanomaterials for solar energy conversion.

Mr. Sellers is incorporating the deep-level research he conducted this summer in relatable ways into his Accelerated Chemistry course. “These are big ideas that are focused on solving a problem—how we get energy.  I think it’s important to make it relatable for students and connect it to what is in the world.”

Throughout the year, students will develop an understanding of hydrogen evolution reaction and oxygen evolution reaction, the two reactions that are integral to green energy solutions. 

“By the end of the year students will have a deep understanding of atomic and molecular structure, mixtures and reactions.”

While working at the Sadtler Lab, Mr. Sellers met graduate student Ashlynn Berry whose research is focused on nanoconfinement. Ms. Berry is also an active member of Wash U’s campus organization Catalyst for Change (C4C), an outreach group that promotes science to first-year high school girls. This September, Ms. Berry will present three talks to middle school students at Whitfield, City Academy, and Momentum Academy, sharing her pathway in STEM and encouraging others to do the same.

Check out Mr. Sellers’ article, “Sadtler lab opens sash for high school teacher,” published on the Wash U website.