Sigma Zeta Hosts Lab Saturday Event

May 5, 2023

Recently, 41 high school students from homeschool groups and Christian schools attended a Saturday Lab event hosted by Houghton’s Sigma Zeta club. Members of Sigma Zeta helped the students perform labs in the areas of chemistry, biology, and physics where they explored pH using a universal indicator and pH meters, identified bacteria through gram staining, and used Geiger counters to examine materials for radioactivity and exponential decay in M&Ms.

At the end of the day, the high schoolers voted on their favorite lab. Although chemistry came out on top, students said they enjoyed getting to eat the extra M&Ms at the end of the physics lab. Karen Torraca, professor of chemistry and faculty advisor for Sigma Zeta, oversaw the lab.

“The Sigma Zeta Lab Saturday was a great experience for students to learn about pH, bacteria, and radioactivity in fun and hands-on ways. It was exciting to see labs full of high school students on a Saturday afternoon, eager to learn about the beauty and wonder of God’s creation.”     -Karen Torraca

The Sigma Zeta club is a national honors society that promotes excellence in the natural sciences, computer science, and mathematics at Houghton. Sigma Zeta hosted its first lab event in 2014 as a way for high school students to experience what a college lab is like, and to give members the opportunity to teach some of the interesting labs they have learned during their time at Houghton. The Sigma Zeta students organize the event by setting the date, planning the labs that they want to do, and teaching the labs to the high school students.