Eliason Shocks Students with Exciting Lab Experiences

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Photo Courtesy of Nick Eliason

Eliason (far right) at a wrestling meet at his previous school.

Julian Sealy, Staff Writer

   Former college soccer player turned chemistry teacher Nick Eliason has come to join the science department. 

   Eliason grew up about 30 miles northeast of Philadelphia and received his education at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. 

   “I have a biology degree from Saint Joseph and then I’ve taken a variety of master’s classes at Temple University and UCF,” Eliason said.

   Entering his 25th year of teaching, Eliason has taught all over Florida. He started teaching at University High School, then moved to East River High School, then Bishop Moore and is now entering his first year at Trinity.

   He teaches Honors Chemistry as well as eighth grade science, but also enjoys the higher level topics in AP.

   “[I like] the equilibrium and the kinetics, which require math, [and] any of the lab stuff and having kids do an experiment and try to figure something out,” Eliason said.

   Along with getting a biology degree at Saint Joseph’s, Eliason also played college soccer and coached high school wrestling for 25 years. 

   Outside the classroom, Eliason has also worked in a shock tube lab and a Nanotechnology lab. 

   “I’ve done six years of research at UCF working in the shock tube lab which is about jet engine propulsion [and] how the blast week goes out to jet engines,” Eliason said. “After that, I worked in a Nanotechnology Lab with cerium oxide which has a whole bunch of different purposes from anticancer to heat protection, so we do laser surgery.” 

   Eliason had quite the unique experiences while working in the shock tube lab.

   “[Working in a shock tube lab] was interesting because of the extremes,” Eliason said via email. “They let me, with barely any laser experience, purchase and construct the laser measuring system that sent laser beams through the windows in the shock tube to measure the concentration of carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide as the shock wave traveled.” 

   Eliason also said that the shock wave is the result of a combustion reaction that breaks a membrane and then travels down a long metal tube. 

   Inside the classroom, Eliason said his favorite part about teaching is interacting with the students.

   “[I like] working with the students to say they’re prepared for the AP chemistry class and the college chemistry class, and I generally like to have fun so I try to have fun in the lab,” Eliason said.