North Central College - Naperville, IL
Major: 
Chemistry major, Secondary Education minor

Sheri, a chemistry and physics teacher at Richards High School in Oak Lawn, IL, was recently selected to participate in a program with Argonne National Laboratory. “It includes three summers of research and a grant for classroom equipment,” Sheri says. “I’ve already been able to share my experiences with my students; they really enjoy hearing about how science is used in the real world.” Thanks to her Argonne research, her students have built nanocrystalline solar cells and worked with ferrofluids. Starks is acutely aware of the need to keep her students engaged. She works hard to make the field appealing to young people, especially her female students. “I explain that science can be very social,” she says. “They think it’s just old men isolated in a laboratory. I show them pictures of my friends and me in a lab or attending the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research in California.”