Meteorite Workshop Attracts High School Students from Shanghai American School

October 16, 2016

Oct. 15, a group of high school students, science teachers and senior administrators from Shanghai American School (SAS) gathered on the Duke Kunshan University campus for a fun-filled Meteorite Workshop and an afternoon full of unique Duke Kunshan experiences.

“The Meteorite workshop was a pilot program designed to bring high school students into the Duke Kunshan community to experience a university-level lecture and hands-on workshop, and to interact with a scientist and get to know how that person thinks and how he approaches the subject matter. So the workshop serves a promotional purpose, promoting Duke Kunshan University to a broader community of students in the region, while also connecting the university to high schools,” said Dr. Andrew Field, associate dean of undergraduate programs at Duke Kunshan University. “We hope to host more workshops in the future to bring a wider range of high school students from different schools (international, private, and domestic) to visit Duke Kunshan and be exposed to or experience not only science but also social science and humanities subjects at the university level.”

Dr. Nicholas Gessler, research associate at Duke University kicked off the workshop with a fun video of meteorite crash in Russia, which immediately sparked an enthusiastic discussion among the visiting students. But why are people so fascinated by meteorites? As an anthropologist, Dr. Gessler not only gave the students a comprehensive introduction to the components and scientific value of meteorites, but he also offered some insights into the social science aspects and history of meteorites.

After the lecture, students also had an opportunity to observe slides of meteorite slices from Prof. Gessler’s collection via microscopes and got a full taste of what Duke Kunshan University has to offer.

Besides the workshop, the students also enjoyed a campus tour led by current Duke Kunshan students and presentations about Duke Kunshan’s undergraduate degree program in preparation and the Duke TIP program designed for academically talented students in grades 8–10.