Charlotte Andreason, Ali Leonhard and Gwen Schad are still in high school, but thanks to a collaborative effort between Lakeland University and Sheboygan North, the ambitious trio conducted nearly three months of advanced research at LU over the summer.
Andreason, Leonhard and Schad were guest researchers in Lakeland’s renowned LURE (Lakeland Undergraduate Research Experience) program. While many of the students’ peers relaxed over the break, these three traveled to LU’s campus almost daily, completing at least 80 hours of research for high school credit.
On a recent Friday afternoon, after the final class of the day had ended at North, the three students presented PowerPoint recaps of their extensive work in front of North High administrators and teachers and LU professors Greg Smith and Paul Pickhardt.
Andreason and Schad conducted research on prions in yeast. A prion is an infectious organism that causes fatal diseases such as Mad Cow (cows), Chronic Wasting (deer) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob (humans).
Leonhard, meanwhile, studied the effects of coal fly ash (a residual sludge-like substance that remains after the burning of coal) on terrestrial plants and freshwater algae.
All three North students shared their methodology and results, and good-naturedly discussed the setbacks that typically occur during such high-level research.
“We laughed, and we cried …,” it said on one of Andreason and Schad’s slides, drawing laughter from the audience.
“It was great for Paul and me to network with the dedicated teachers at North,” Smith said. “And, it was very enjoyable seeing the three students present in their environment after spending so much time in ours. We really enjoyed having them with us over the summer.