Stanford students are widely known to possess a sense of intellectual vitality. Tell us about an idea or an experience you have had that you find intellectually engaging.
“Let’s use sodium sulfide,” I decided.
I snatched the bottle labeled Na2S and placed three drops of the foul-smelling liquid into a well on the well-plate. Then, I added some of the clear unknown solution I had been given and watched the reaction unfold. Upon contact, the two combined to form an obvious white solid.
I stared at the chart we had been provided: seven of the twelve metal cation combinations with sulfide were white. The teacher had also informed us of other methods to differentiate between cations such as the flame test, but many were too time-consuming to use for the compound-identification race. It was time to innovate.
My mind wandered to when our AP Chemistry class had covered certain properties of metals and their ionized forms. There was something special about aluminum and zinc…
“Wait! Don’t aluminum and zinc form acidic complex ions with water?” I exclaimed to the instructor. He smiled, nodded, and gave me an encouraging wink.
“And aluminum’s is more acidic than zinc’s. So, blue pH paper should be able to determine that it’s aluminum or zinc, or eliminate them from the options entirely,” I reasoned.
I took a strip of the paper and dipped it into the unknown solution. It turned a distinct shade of red: it had to be zinc. I could barely contain my excitement as I scribbled down the answer on a sheet of paper and turned it into the teacher for evaluation.
“Good job, Kevin; four points for correct identification.”
Though the method I had developed did propel me to the top of the class, the experience was not the least bit about points. Instead, it was about the process of creating something new and effective, which showed me the value of innovation and applying classroom knowledge to real situations.
Virtually all of Stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. What would you want your future roommate to know about you? Tell us something about you that will help your future roommate-and us-know you better.
I don’t plan on being in the room much. I have to sleep and do homework, of course, but I’d rather not experience the rest of Stanford from the dorm. It’s not you. In fact, I’d love for you to join me. That said, if you decide not to and you need to find me when I’m not in the room, look in these places first:
Laboratories: I hope I can convince a future professor of mine to let me work with him or her so I can make the most of Stanford’s world-class faculty and research facilities. I don’t know where my pursuits will land me yet, but because I’m looking to be a chemical engineer, try the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology or Energy and Environment building.
Practice rooms: I love science, but I also have a deep passion for music. I could be in a room practicing clarinet, piano, or guitar. I hope to join a band or orchestra, so you can also look wherever our rehearsals or concerts may be.
Athletic events: You won’t find me on a college varsity team, but I’m an avid sports fan. I’ll watch any game; your best bets are football and baseball. I follow the Chargers and Red Sox too, but I’ll probably be in the room for those games. Then again, I did play volleyball in high school so I might try my luck at some intramural; give that place a shot too.
Libraries: Stanford’s libraries have some of the world’s best academic resources; I could be studying in one of them. Some homework I can do in the dorm with a bit of Jimi Hendrix on, but if I really have to read, a quiet place like the library is where I’ll be. You can try the music and engineering libraries too; I could be browsing there to fuel my ambitions.
If you join me, perhaps you can learn to love some of the things I do. Of course, there’ll have to be balance; I’m open to your passions too.
Tell us what makes Stanford a good place for you.
Consider the chemical equation below:
Student + Opportunity —> Adult + Success
From experience, we know that the reaction above requires considerable energy input to complete, and even with the most concentrated students and opportunities, the products may not form at a practical rate. A catalyst should be used to provide a surface for the reactants to collide and thereby speed up the reaction. For the equation above, college is a suitable one.
There are many substances that are considered colleges, but as with any set of related elements or compounds, some are superior to others for certain reactions. For some students, crimson red will produce the best output of adults and success. Others prefer a combination of orange and black or a mix of navy blue and white. For me, cardinal red, also known as Stanford, is the optimal choice.
Stanford offers the best opportunities for catalyzing the development of an aspiring chemical engineer like me. The faculty members of Stanford’s chemical engineering department are pioneers in research on medicine and renewable energy who can provide me with insight into the scientific world in and beyond college. Stanford is also situated in Silicon Valley, the haven for engineering and breeding grounds for technological innovation. The area not only inspires me with names like Apple and Google, but also presents me with the opportunity to have as large an impact on the world as these companies did.
However, Stanford also promotes a balance of academic, extracurricular, and social activities. The unique marching band convinces me that I can find a place for my other passion: music. The active student body and all-important sporting events also show me that, as time-consuming as my reaction may be, I will still be in for a fun ride.
Cue, Kay. "Stanford Supplement (Chemical Engineer)" StudyNotes.org. Study Notes, LLC., 21 Sep. 2013. Web. 10 Mar. 2018. <https://www.apstudynotes.org/stanford/stanford-supplement-chemical-engineer/>.
Society needs engineers that can and will change the world. Meeting today's growing global demands, coupled with safeguarding our environment is what really intrigues me.
I want to study Chemical Engineering because of its increasingly significant role in our society, particularly across a variety of industries from petrochemicals to environmental technology. It is an extremely versatile subject which provides a unique opportunity to be involved in the development and manufacture of a wide range of products, an aspect that I look forward to learning about.
Chemical Engineering incorporates Mathematics and Chemistry, which is another reason why I am drawn to the subject.
Through my A Level studies I have come to love these subjects and want to continue studying them. I feel that all my A Level choices complement each other perfectly and have encouraged me to develop skills beneficial to the study of Chemical Engineering, such as critical analysis and research.
Mathematics and Chemistry have sharpened my methodical thinking and logical problem solving skills, whilst an extended essay in English Literature on 'Hamlet' has developed my analytical and explanatory skills. Laboratory work in Chemistry has always been exciting to me from a young age.
From learning about wet tests to practical work such as the hydrolysis of an ester, my passion for the subject in its entirety has increased. This was observed and acknowledged amongst my peers as I was awarded the certificate of merit for my effort and achievement in Chemistry.
In year 12, I was nominated as the school council representative; I was responsible for various tasks including negotiating the purchase of equipment for school functions, in addition to speaking to a large group of students. This role enabled me to develop strong interpersonal and communication skills.
I feel these skills have been further strengthened through my duties as a director of Nexus, a Young Enterprise company. I led the team responsible for putting together a feasible business plan, finding potential investors.
I plan to use my Gap Year as an opportunity to become a more rounded individual. As a result, I have applied to the Year in Industry in hopes of gaining a 6-month placement for the next year to help broaden my understanding of Chemical Engineering.
I am also very involved in my local community as I joined the Bromley Youth Panel where I worked with other students and Bromley Council. I was part of the team which had the opportunity to interview potential candidates for the role of the Director of Children's Services in the Bromley borough.
I found the experience both challenging and rewarding, and through it I was able to understand the importance of communicating effectively and working within a team.
In recognition of my contribution to the management of Dance, Drama and Music courses that were ran for young people last summer, I was presented with Millennium Volunteer Award by the mayor of Lewisham. In addition to the recognition I received, I also developed organisational skills and learned how to multi-task and manage my time efficiently in a dynamic environment.
I am confident that I will be able to interact within the diverse atmosphere of university, as my experience of living in Nigeria, and having a multi cultural background has instilled in me the confidence to adapt to, and function effectively within new environments. I eagerly look forward to the exciting opportunities that studying Chemical Engineering has to offer.