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This program is invitation-only - please contact your chemistry science teacher or guidance counselor for more information

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation announces the launch of the OC Beckman Legacy Award, a college scholarship competition with awards up to $16,000.

Participating students will work with a science teacher mentor at their school to complete a project build (initial materials provided by the Foundation), inspired by the revolutionary tools of Dr. Arnold O. Beckman, as well as perform experiments, create their own innovative experiment, report on experiment findings, and answer essay-style questions. Submitted projects will be evaluated by the Foundation using a panel of outside experts to select the award winners. For the 2020 Legacy Program, students will build their own Spectrophotometer--see more information about the spectrophotometer below.

High School must be invited by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation

  • Students must be juniors currently enrolled in a college-prep lab science class
  • Students must have cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Students must be a United States citizen or permanent resident
  • Students must have plans to attend a 4-year non-profit United States Institution
  • Parent or legal guardian signatures required

Hailed as “perhaps the single greatest instrument” of its era, the Beckman DU Spectrophotometer forever transformed the practice of chemistry and the life sciences. With speed and accuracy, it detected the “fingerprints” of life’s essential materials and moved chemistry from the academic laboratory directly into commercial production facilities. Dr. Beckman once said that if he had to pick one invention that had the most impact, it would be the spectrophotometer.

A spectrophotometer can determine what substances are present in a sample and exactly how much through calculations of observed wavelengths. The spectrophotometers span various scientific fields including biochemistry, physics, materials science, and molecular biology. Spectrophotometers can be found in most every lab and are widely used to measure enzyme activities determinations of protein concentration, determinations of enzymatic kinetic constants, and measurement of ligand binding reactions.

Students will build their own version of a spectrophotometer using interlocking plastic bricks to test the wavelengths of different substances and learn how to measure intensity. Students will also create their own experiment and are encouraged to be as innovative and creative as Dr. Beckman!

Check out the below videos (will open in YouTube) to learn more about the Spectrophotometer!

DU Spectrophotometer

IR Spectrophotometer