EPIC - Enrichment Program In Chemistry for High School Students

High School Students participating in the EPIC program, November 2010.

Updatd 16 September 2011


The Enrichment Program in Chemistry (EPIC) at the University of Manitoba was created in the summer of 2009 by Dr. Horace Luong.  The program provides selected Winnipeg high school students (and equivalent) with a unique opportunity to experience chemistry beyond their regular classrooms.  Participants will develop laboratory skills and scientific thinking abilities through activities designed to stimulate interest in chemistry.

EPIC's central goal is to introduce participants to as many areas as possible in the multifaceted field of chemistry by conducting experiments in: organic, inorganic, analytical, physical, materials, environmental/green, and biochemistry.   In each Saturday session,  we will explore at least one of these areas.

Selected students will meet at the Department of Chemistry, University of Manitoba, one Saturday each month, during the months November - February (with a break in January).  Each Saturday session will be 3 hours in length. 


Students participating in EPIC should expect the following benefits:

  • Explore a chemistry topic not generally taught in the classroom
  • Meet other students who are interested in chemistry
  • Work in a newly renovated chemistry laboratory at the University of Manitoba
  • Work directly with Professors in the Department of Chemistry in a non-evaluative academic setting
  • Find a mentor in the Department of Chemistry who can provide guidance and assistance should you pursue studies in chemistry at the University of Manitoba.


Chemistry is such a diverse field of study that those who pursue chemistry can do anything from examining how light interacts with matter (spectroscopy) to analyzing concentrations of chemicals (analytical chemistry). Activities planned for EPIC participants include, but not limited to, chemical synthesis, making analytical measurements, and isolating natural products. EPIC participants will be able to describe how caffeine can be extracted from tea, how soap is made, how much vitamin c is in various food products, and describe the chemistry behind some commonly encountered art projects. Watch our students in action.



A maximum enrollment of 30 participants will be admitted into the program.  These participants are expected to have taken Chemistry 30S (or equivalent) and are currently enrolled in, or have completed, Chemistry 40S (or equivalent). 

The participants are nominated by high school teachers or coordinators of the homeschoolers association on the basis of how the participants will benefit from the program's objective.


The Faculty of Science at the University of Manitoba and the Chemical Institute of Canada have covered some of the program expenses.  To cover the residual expenses, participants accepted into the program will pay a small program fee (TBA).


The next program will start in the fall of 2011.  In August 2011, local Winnipeg high schools and the homeschoolers association will receive packages containing program information and application forms for student nominations. 


Please share any ideas for EPIC with the Program Coordinator.  For more information, suggestions or questions please contact:

Dr. Horace Luong
Program Coordinator
Phone: (204) 474-7916
Fax: (204) 474-7608 
E-mail: luong@cc.umanitoba.ca 

Dr. Horace Luong's web page  

Watch this web site for updates!

EPIC 2011 Program Poster

EPIC 2011 Application Form PDF 

EPIC 2011 Application Form in Word


We gratefully acknowledge the Chemical Institute of Canada, Chemical Education Fund, for their support of this program.


Here's what participants had to say...
  • "It's so professionally organized, the labs were all nicely planned out (best for last too) and you get to be around a bunch of smarties"

  • "I really enjoyed doing experiments that I would not get to do in class.  They were fun because it had more of a real life connection rather than just a bunch of random chemicals.  I also learnt quite a bit of interesting information." - Emily Cummings

  • "EPIC is a great program for high school students to help them explore and discover new lab techniques.  It doesn't only prepare students for their university life, but it also helps them to interact with wonderful undergrad students.  I really enjoyed it." - Karam Al-Bayati

  • "I think it's great that students get to do these labs and just have fun where we usually don't get to in high school.  More programs like this should exist!!" - Somee Park

  • "The best part was being able to work in a university lab setting and get a chance to learn things we didn't in class at school.  It was a lot of fun!" - Lucas Vasas

  • "EPIC was an excellent learning experience, and an all around fun time.  I would definately recommend it for chemistry students interested in learning more about the science" - Lucas Vasas