I will admit, I enjoy the little things. There are few things in life that make me prouder than when I apply something I have recently learned in a real-life, problem-solving scenario. Connecting the classroom to the tangible world around me never fails to bring a smile to my face, and one day this summer was full of these connections.
After a fun but challenging four weeks at GRACE, Dr. Kelly and Mr. Maqubela wrapped up the chemistry students’ summers at Groton with a surprise trip to the John B. Goodenough Solar Battery Farm. I was excited to see the geography around the newly implemented solar panels on campus, but left with so much more than the stunning view of the vast fields behind Groton. I saw firsthand the implementation of the lithium-ion battery, a device we discussed in chemistry class throughout the summer as a method of producing clean energy and electricity for homes across the country. Mr. McKie explained how John B. Goodenough '40, a Grotonian and the battery farm’s namesake, was the scientist behind this invention. If that wasn’t enough, he won a Nobel Prize for his work in 2019!
I found my jaw hanging, swaying in the cool breeze. The tips of my fingers tingled. I could sense the spirit of innovation, determination, and change that Goodenough exemplified and pondered the impact his battery has yet to make on the world of clean energy. Witnessing the product of a Grotonian and his will to change the world was no doubt inspiring. I thought of being with my peers at our fiftieth reunion (hopefully enjoying Groton's grilled cheese and tomato soup), reminiscing on the impact we had each made in our careers. As odd as it may sound, visiting the solar farm was the perfect way to cap off my time at GRACE. I then found myself packing up and heading home revitalized, encouraged to make the most of my summer before returning to school in the fall.