Saegertown scientist schools students in chemistry

by Hannah Nicholson, opinion editor

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Saegertown alum Joe Braymer, who is a chemist in Germany, returned to share his experiences with the chemistry students  in Mrs. Kelli Peters’ classes on Dec. 20.

On Dec. 20, Saegertown High School chemistry students had the opportunity to learn about what they could do in the science field from alumni Joe Braymer who graduated from Saegertown in 2004.

Chemistry teacher Mrs. Kelli Peters organized his visit. She contacted Braymer through his mother, who she sees often during the summer. “It’s nice seeing how successful our kids are when they leave here,” Mrs. Peters said. Mrs. Peters was aware that he was doing research, and even being a chemistry teacher could not prepare her for the kind of research he does. “It’s way beyond me,” she said. In the future Mrs. Peters would like for him to come back to talk more about his research, and to talk to Mr. Greco’s advanced biology class as well.  

After his graduation from Saegertown, Braymer went to Edinboro for his bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Then he moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan to attend the University of Michigan for his doctoral degree in organic chemistry. While he was getting his PhD, he began to do his own research at Michigan where he researched the development of small molecules that could be used to treat Alzheimer’s Disease. After receiving his doctorate, Braymer attended Indiana University Bloomington for his post-doctoral research position to expand into biochemistry.

Braymer now lives in Marburg, Germany and is working on a second post-doctoral at Philipps University Marburg. “I call myself a bioinorganic chemist,” Braymer said. He works with trying to understand how transitional metals are important to life. “You need these metals to live, and I try to understand why,” Braymer said. “I work at understanding how proteins fold and function, and how that function relates to a cellular function.”

Braymer mainly works with yeast cells which serve as a model cell for understanding human physiology. Braymer hopes that in the future his research could create medicines to help correct metabolic disorders.

“I look around me, I see colors, I see lights and I really want to know why something is red or has a certain form. That’s chemistry. I want to know why things are the way they are,” said Braymer, while talking to students in Mrs. Kelli Peters’ class about why he became a chemist.

While he was studying in Michigan, Braymer met his girlfriend from Germany. “That’s the main reason I am there,” Braymer said. “I am visiting for Christmas of course.”

Being a Saegertown alum, Braymer has some fond memories of high school. “What I remember most about Saegertown is wrestling. I wrestled every year and although I never reached my goals, I learned a lot about myself through wrestling,” Braymer said.  

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to SHS. From what I saw, there was a lot of positive energy in the school.  My advice to students is to heed advice from others but to never be afraid to make your own path.”

 

Math and Science club field trip

By Hannah Myers, staff writer

On May 12, the Math and Science Club will be heading to Darien Lake Amusement Park in New York. Every year, the park hosts a math and physics day for students to come and learn how math and science applies to everyday life. The field trip is open to senior, junior, and sophomore club members as space permits. At Darien Lake, club members will ride and analyze the math and science aspects of the rides. “We’ve gone to Kennywood before and it’s always a good time,” club adviser Mrs. Kelli Peters said. This will be their first trip to Darien. “I am looking forward to the experience because I’ve never been there before,” senior Dustin Bierman said.

Fundraising for the field trip includes selling shirts and possibly Daffin’s candies. They have already sold Math and Science Club shirts, and they are currently selling Pi day shirts.

Even though the deadline to attend the trip this year has passed, there is no deadline to join this club. You must be a sophomore or above and be in at least one upper level math and science class. For math, trigonometry, pre calculus,  calculus, or statistics is considered an upper level math class. For science, chemistry 1 and 2, advanced biology, anatomy and physiology, or physics are considered upper level science classes. If you would like to join, see Mrs. Peters. 

Math and science club students attend Pi Day at Edinboro University

Kaylee Luchansky, Website Editor

Dr. Benjamin (photo by Stephen Boylan).

Dr. Arthur Benjamin (Stephen Boylan/SHS).

On Monday March 16, Edinboro University held its seventh annual Pi Day. Forty-six Saegertown juniors, seniors, and sophomores attended the all-day program, which started with a tour led by a student currently living on campus. The students then traveled to Ross Hall for activities including Bungee Barbie Jump, Buffon’s Stack of Needles, and the game 24.

All activities were optional and open to everyone along with nearby lectures. After lunch, the students gathered in the Cole Auditorium to be given awards and listen to Dr. Arthur Benjamin, Harvey Mudd College Professor of Mathematics and professional magician, talk about the Secrets of Mental Math. Several Saegertown students including Ben Haylett and Sam Michaels were asked to come up on the stage and participate in his activities.

Students participating in Buffon's Needles (photo contributed by Stephen Boylan).

Students participating in Buffon’s Needles (Stephen Boylan/SHS).

The students from Saegertown who were given awards were Jared McClymonds for reciting 202 digits of Pi (the student who won second place recited 150 digits), Jared Shaffer for Pi Day trivia, Dane Rhodes, Garrett Johnston, and Dustin Bierman for the Towers of Hanoi, and Tanna Walters received second place in the game 24.

“I had a great time. I especially liked Dr. Benjamin’s lecture,” said junior Kasey Newhard. Mrs. Kelli Peters, one of Math and Science Club’s advisors, said, “It was fun and I am really proud of our students winning three out of the six awards. I love my little geeks.”