High School Student Appointment Procedure

This procedure has the following purposes:

1. Give graduate student supervisors adequate time to prepare their schedules to assist.

2. Ensure the HS student has a sound and safe plan.

3. Ensure the HS student understands the basics behind the chemistry.

4. Boost laboratory productivity in terms of discoveries and accomplishments per unit dollar.


  • A HS student always has TWO graduate student supervisors.

  • One is the lead supervisor.

  • The other is a back-up (to handle absences, give an extra review of safety, etc.).

When must an appointment be requested?

    A HS student must request an appointment to do research.


Can a HS student show up without an appointment?

    A HS student can work without an appointment but not on research. Only approved jobs from the "fixit" list (white board). Such work is limited to less than four (4) hours per week. These jobs often must be explained by the supervising student or lab director; therefore, advanced notice is still required--just not the detailed plan of a regular appointment.


Duration of appointments

Appointments will only be honored when they exceed 3 hours from start to finish; this is just about the minimum time to get anything meaningful done.


Missed appointments

A missed appointment is disrespectful to the student supervisors, who will have planned in advance.     Transportation issues, school events and final exams are not valid reasons to miss an appointment. These can all be anticipated. Illness is a valid excuse, but the HS student will notify the supervisor as soon as possible.



  • The appointment request must be submitted to the supervising graduate students (both of them) 5 days ahead of planned RESEARCH work.

  • One or both graduate students must acknowledge receipt and approve the timing.

What to include with the appointment request

Experimental Plan: In case of a new segment (new means beyond existing plan) you will write up the plan, including what chemicals you need, concentrations, weights, glassware, molarities, molecular weights, hazards, points where you need training. .

Here is an example in which the plan is to make a 1% solution of bovine serum albumin.

Title of Experiment: 1% BSA solution

I am trying to make a solution for DLS. The experiment requires 3-place precision, but the actual concentration matters less than knowing what it is well. Weigh about 10 mg BSA (9.00 to 11.0 mg OK) to 3 significant figures in weighed and tared vial (no cap--evaporation is a minor concern). Add 1.00 mL Nanopure water using Pipetman and reweigh the solution. BSA is in fridge; approx molecular weight 65,000 g/mol. Allow >10 minutes for dissolution.

        Hazards from MSDS: none--BSA is a harmless material.

Hazards from procedure: none

        Things I do not know how to do: Use Pipetman correctly--does it matter how snugly the tip is put on?

In case you are continuing an approved plan not finished during the previous appointment, you may just write "continuation". 

Check-in and Check-out procedure

You will pick up your lab notebook from your supervisor. He or she will have printed the plan, made alterations and annotations, and taped it into your notebook. He or she will have planned to teach any new procedures and will have decided the location of the research (sometimes, we will move you to another lab to be close to the graduate student and ensure close oversight).

At the end of the appointment, you will return your lab notebook to your supervisor.

The supervisor will check that all reactions are stable, that samples are properly labeled, and that the lab work area is clean.