Twin brothers travel to participate in FACT summer camp

Friday, August 02, 2019

Twin brothers, Isaac and Elijah Lanigan, from Brooke County, West Virginia, came to Fairmont State University to participate in the free Forensic and Analytical Chemistry Technology (FACT) summer camp. 

The mother of the sixth graders, Sara Roark was happy to bring them to camp, even though they had to stay in a hotel, since the camp was free and educational. 

“My boys are super interested in science and when I realized it was in Fairmont, I pitched it to them and they were really interested in it,” she said. “I figure any opportunity, during school or in the summer, that I can give them to learn especially in a fun way, I am more than willing to make that sacrifice to get them into something they love.” 

As a teacher, Roark believes that education, especially outside of the classroom, is extremely important. In environments where kids are able to do cool, hands-on, fun, and non-textbook experiments and that’s what sticks with them. 

“It’s fun and educational, that’s important. This was our first time on campus too and it’s been a great experience,” she said. “This is a great opportunity fo the people of West Virginia. Not only is it a fun, educational camp but they are providing it free of cost. We had a blast.” 

Elijah wasn’t sure what to expect from the camp at first but knew that it was going to be fun because he loves chemistry. 

“One day we got to work with light and color. We put things in a box that was connected to the computer, you had to find the absorbance and highest peak of what it was absorbed, it was the wavelength,” he said. “We also got to pull DNA from our cheeks and did DNA in a bottle.” 

The FACT camp was made possible by the West Virginia Science and Research, a division of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (WVHEPC), and the West Virginia Research Challenge Fund.

Students had the chance to work with state-of-the-art technology and apply real-world forensic and chemistry-related techniques. Students also worked with forensic and chemistry technology, including Fairmont State’s newly purchased Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry instruments.

Please contact Dr. Mark Flood, Forensic Science program coordinator at 304-367-4309 or for more information about the Forensic Science program at Fairmont State University.