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Michael Vosburg, Forum Photo Editor , Published February 12 2012

Portraits: Graeme R.A. Wyllie, Ph.D.

Graeme R.A. Wyllie, Ph.D., leads a chemistry lab for schoolchildren on Saturday at the Fargo Public Library’s Carlson branch. An assistant professor in chemistry, Wyllie is the outreach coordinator for the Concordia Science Academy, where 200 or more elementary students participate in science activities. For this smaller class at the library, Wyllie walks them through how to compare the amounts of vitamin C in prepackaged and freshly squeezed orange juice by adding iodine to it. “I’m known on campus for doing a lot of this stuff,” Wyllie says. For the larger programs, he will arrange demonstrations by professors in physics, math, biology and chemistry. “I do want to give [students] a range of all the sciences,” Wyllie says. He credits his motivation to a “really good science teacher” in Scotland. Now, he wants to offer the experience of discovery to others. “That inspired me to give back,” he says. So, for a time, science becomes performance art. “It builds what I do into a character kind of thing – the accent, the lab coat and everything – it all adds up,” Wyllie says.