Sean Higgins, a science teacher at Cairo-Durham High School, had his research published in an international peer-reviewed scientific journal.
Mr. Higgins co-authored a methodology paper with researchers from Dr. K. Kannan’s lab at the Wadsworth State Health Laboratories. It was published in the October 2017 issue of “Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry." The paper builds on previous research to establish an alternative procedure for extracting micro-pollutants from waste water samples and achieving more robust results.
“It’s one of my professional bucket list things that I really wanted to do,” said Mr. Higgins, who is also part of the New York State Master Teacher Program. “It feels fantastic.”
This publication is the culmination of research that Mr. Higgins began while participating in Questar III’s Summer Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Research Program in 2015. After the STEM Research Program ended, Mr. Higgins volunteered his time during the school year and continued to work on the research with Dr. Alex Asimakopoulos, a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. K. Kannan’s lab.
The paper, titled “Determination of 89 drugs and other micropollutants in unfiltered wastewater and freshwater by LC-MS/MS: An alternative sample preparation approach,” offers the potential for future research and publications, Mr. Higgins said.
Mr. Higgins said he would participate in the Questar III STEM Research Program again if given the opportunity.
“We’re always trying to work to prepare our students for the next step,” said Mr. Higgins. “It’s good to have experience with those hard and soft skills that we can share with our students, and that doesn’t come from a textbook.”