LHS student makes history with published research

Lincoln High School senior Cole Shank can ace most science quizzes. But ask him to explain in one sentence what he did last summer as part of a research internship at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?


Finally, after a couple starts and stops: “Making magnetic materials that are suitable for spintronics applications, which is possibly the next frontier of electronics.”

Shank was part of a small team of researchers - including a professor and college student - who turned the results from their work into an article abstract published as part of the 62nd Annual Conference on Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, held recently in Pittsburgh. Shank is believed to be the first Lincoln High student to have scientific research published while still in high school.

“It was really cool, just knowing our names would be included as part of this conference and seen by all those people,” said Shank, who plans on majoring in math and physics in college.

It was the second summer that Shank interned at the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience. He mostly worked as a lab assistant the first summer; last summer he was more hands-on, working side by side with a student from South Dakota State University.

Shank said the internship involved physics that would be found in upper-level undergraduate courses at the college level. He’s currently taking an International Baccalaureate Physics Higher Learning independent study course, taught by Lincoln High teacher Will Smith.

“I’ve just been interested in physics for a long time,” Shank said.

Published: November 29, 2017, Updated: December 1, 2017