Skip to main content
Skip to main menu Skip to spotlight region Skip to secondary region Skip to UGA region Skip to Tertiary region Skip to Quaternary region Skip to unit footer


UGA Chemistry Hosts Middle-School Students from Oglethorpe County

Dr. Dennis Phillips performs a hands-on chemistry demonstration for Oglethorpe Middle School students

The UGA Department of Chemistry recently hosted 150 eighth-grade students from Oglethorpe County Middle School, along with their teachers and parent chaperones, in a tour of Chemistry and Physics facilities on the UGA campus. The Department of Chemistry opened its doors in the I-STEM research facility for students to learn about the workings of several of its core facilities, including the Georgia Electron Microscopy (GEM) lab, the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) lab, and the Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry (PAMS) lab. The visit was coordinated by Dr. Shelby Dickerson, UGA Chemistry lecturer, and Alexandria Brock, Department of Chemistry academic advisor.

The students were split into smaller groups to give all participants an opportunity to see the demonstrations up close and to interact directly with the scientists in each facility. In the GEM facility, Dr. Eric Formo showed the students the electron microscopes, explained how they worked and how samples were prepared, and analyzed several different pigments provided by Dr. Tina Salguero. The students were able to see how analyzing the microscopic world can provide detailed information about the world around us, even allowing researchers to tell such minutiae as what types of foods people ate generations ago. The students were also able to view poster-sized images from electron microscopy analysis results.

In the NMR facility, Dr. Earle Adams gave an informative tour of the facility and equipment. He discussed the background of the development of the technology as well as innovations occurring today to improve the instrumentation and obtain deeper understanding of the world around us. Some students were familiar with the concept of magnetic resonance as a diagnostic tool, and Dr. Adams' gave them a better idea of what happens behind the scenes.

The PAMS facility tour was led by Dr. Dennis Phillips, who showed students the equipment and provided insight on how mass spectroscopy is an important tool utilized in various fields, ranging among such widespread areas as drug testing to analyzing insulin in mosquitos. In addition to the facility tour and answering questions about mass spectrometry, Dr. Phillips included several hands-on demonstrations to display common chemistry concepts such as heat and electricity. 

One group finished early and was treated to a bonus tour of the College of Engineering's Innovation Factory lab, which is located near the Chemistry core facilities in the I-STEM Building 1 and is under the direction of Dr. Jaime Camelio. Projects in the Innovation Factory lab relate to the Industry 4.0 revolution, with topics ranging from digital transformation to automation in manufacturing environments to robotics. Graduate students led a hands-on demonstration of some of the robotics equipment in lab for the OCMS students.

The Department of Chemistry is open to providing more educational outreach opportunities for students in Athens-Clarke County and the surrounding area. For more information about visits or demonstrations, please contact Dr. Shelby Dickerson at

Support Us

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.

Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty.

Got More Questions?

Undergraduate inquiries: 

Registration and credit

AP Credit, Section Changes, Overrides,

Graduate inquiries:

Contact Us!

Assistant to the Department Head: Donna Spotts, 706-542-1919 

Main office phone: 706-542-1919 

Main Email:

Head of Chemistry: Prof. Jason Locklin