Outreach is something each of us can do for others, it is about reaching out to others to educate them about something you are passionate about. Its an important aspect of mankind that leads to goodwill towards others.

Recently a young man, Olivier Desbois, reached out to me, he is a local grade school student who visited Rockhurst during our Open House in the Fall. During his visit, he was amazed by our demonstrations using liquid nitrogen. Shortly after his visit, his teacher at his school announced they would be designing and implementing a science experiment; the young man’s thoughts went straight to liquid nitrogen. As is the case many times in science, there were numerous challenges ahead that this young man realized. Thus, he turned to us, something I am so glad he did.

He asked if we could get him some liquid nitrogen and help him safely complete his experiment. We were glad to help, several teachers and students welcomed him to our school again and we used our lab facilities. It was a positive experience for everyone involved. Our hope is that this young man was excited to experience something special in science and that this experience leads to the desire to answer more questions.

Olivier Desbois’s reflections can be read below.

First, I would like to thank Rochurst for helping me conduct my science experiment, I couldn’t have done it without them. About a month and a half ago, I had finished the writing portion of my science experiment. I had decided to model the expansion of liquid nitrogen, and I would conduct my experiment by filling ping pong balls with liquid nitrogen, and seeing if they would spin, and how fast. First, we considered making our own liquid nitrogen and realized that it can be dangerous. We looked into buying the liquid nitrogen, but nobody would sell it to us without the dewar (A safe container for liquid nitrogen). That is when my Mom reached out to Rockhurst High School. They were so helpful, not only in obtaining the liquid nitrogen and the dewar, but also, in helping me conduct my experiment. They taught me some things about the properties of liquid nitrogen that I hadn’t heard of through my weeks of research. We were able to experiment with other variables than just the ones originally included in my experiment. It was by far the most enjoyment I have ever gotten out of a school project. Again, a big thank you to Rockhurst High School for helping me out, I couldn’t have done it without their help.

Sincerely, Olivier Desbois, Indian Hills Middle School