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Alumnus Returns to HHS for Lesson on Chemical Engineering

Before the winter break, students in Christopher Sgro's Regents Chemistry and College Chemistry classes at Highland High School were visited by Dr. Connor Bilchak, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Manhattan College.

Dr. Bilchak, who graduated from Highland in 2010 and was a former student of Mr. Sgro’s, spoke about educational opportunities and career paths in chemical engineering. He also led the students in a STEM lab where they made candy canes and hard candies. As the classroom filled with the delicious smell of peppermint, Dr. Bilchak explained how candy makers and chemical engineers create taffy, glass candy, and caramels.

Mr. Sgro said he is grateful to Dr. Bilchak for coming in to meet with his classes. “I think it was great for my students to see the real-world application of the science we learn,” he said. “More importantly, to have a successful alum like Connor come back and share his enthusiasm and experiences creates an opportunity for students to see that they too can become future scientists and engineers.”