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High school student researches Flint water crisis, wins award working with professor

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December 12, 2017

Grosse Pointe North High School senior Michal Ruprecht was chosen to work on a green chemistry research project with Dr. Mark Benvenuto, professor in chemistry and biochemistry.

The research began last school year when Ruprecht participated in a green chemistry research project alongside Benvenuto.

Ruprecht, who is president of the Grosse Pointe North High School Chemistry Club and now a senior, said the ligand could potentially pull metals from tainted water. He said that because the research was only preliminary, the group will continue its work with Benvenuto this school year.

“We started doing research on something we were passionate about,” Ruprecht said. “It’s such a relevant topic. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue our research and put it to use. That’s something we’ll be researching this year. We know it could be of use for people one day.”

The students documented their research on a large poster and presented it to professors and undergraduate and graduate students at the ACS Chemistry Regional Conference in Dearborn.

Benvenuto, a chemistry professor, hopes to continue collaborating with Ruprecht.

“The work Michal’s team did will most likely be published next year in a refereed journal on green chemistry,” Benvenuto said via email. “He’s a sharp young man, and has been fun to work with.”

As a result of his dedication to the project, Ruprecht was awarded the 2016-17 Network of Educators in Science and Technology Student Award, “Promise of the Future.”

Read the complete article in the Grosse Pointe Times, by Maria Allard, December 12, 2017.

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