Scanning Electron Microscope

The SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) allows our students to look at items under extreme magnification. The typical scale is under 1.5 micrometers, (1000 times smaller than a millimeter). This magnification allows our students to look at the structure of organisms not normally seen with the naked eye. It also begins the conversation of structure and function at the microscopic level. Our SEM classes allow students hands-on experience with a machine that most students don’t get to use before graduate school. Our students have explored both organic and inorganic materials like insects, minerals, pollen, nonwoven fabrics and spices. Learning how to use the SEM also leads to research projects and partnerships. Our advanced students will be working with scientists and engineers from Weyerhaeuser and the Lewis County PUD on some projects this spring.

We recently provided a new piece of scientific equipment for the SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) program. The new tool is an EDS detector (Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy). This attachment will identify specific elements found in sampling and has many exciting uses for our students. It provides hardware and software technology to deliver the fastest and most reliable results in MICRO and NANO research. We continue to support of the Chehalis School District to help make this STEM program one of the best in the nation.

Published March 9, 2015



Inspire tomorrow’s science leaders by providing a powerful and current scientific technology equipment and training.


$110,370 (+ EDS investment to come)


Qualifying students can enroll in Independent Study research courses using the SEM and have access to a high-tech tool that is not typically used in education until university graduate school level. We have seen some great outcomes for our graduates entering college and choosing STEM careers as a result of this experience.