Morning of Chemistry: An ACS ChemClub Community Activity Grant

Science is pretty cool, especially when you get to teach it using demonstrations and hands-on experiments. Thanks to a ChemClub Community Activities Grant from the American Chemical Society (ACS), students from Westside High School in Houston, Texas were able to show the 5th grade students at Askew Elementary School just how exciting chemistry can be.

Members of the Westside High School Academic Science Demonstration Chemistry Club spent 2 months during the fall semester and 2 months during the spring semester of the 2016-17 school year planning and organizing our “Morning of Chemistry” days. Once our preparation and planning was complete we presented two morning sessions to the students at Askew Elementary School. During each morning session, students learned about electric circuits, heat transfer, pressure and temperature relationships, combustion, polymers, and chemical reactions via a series of demonstrations and hands-on activities. Students were even allowed to take home a few “souvenirs” that resulted from the activities of the day!

Because science is important in many aspects of life, it’s important to get students interested early and keep them interested throughout middle school, high school, and life after graduation. The Westside High School chemistry club hopes to create citizen scientists one demo day at a time, and with the positive feedback from our first presentations, we plan to continue these “Mornings of Chemistry” next school year.

Wizardry 101 Three Shows

The Vineland High School ChemClub in Vineland, NJ, performed three chemical demonstration shows called, “Wizardry 101”,during the 2015-2016 school year. Each of the student “wizards” had to practice and perfect the performance of their demonstration and write their own scientific explanation for the phenomenon before being granted a position in the show.

The first show was in auditorium for 300 sixth graders at Petway Elementary School. Twenty chemistry students performed 15 demonstrations and gave scientific explanations of how each one worked. The demonstrations were arranged in order of their state of matter, liquids, solutions, gases, and heat. Continue reading “Wizardry 101 Three Shows”

ACS Webinar: Resources for National Chemistry Week

ACS recently developed a web seminar that took place September 15, 2016 on the NSTA Learning Center. The presenters were Erica Jacobsen, a chemical education consultant who develops materials for the American Chemical Society and Rachel Murillo, teacher of forensic science and anatomy/physiology at McBride High School in Long Beach, California.Cover Solving Mystery

This web seminar is in support of this years celebration of National Chemistry Week (NCW) celebration and its theme of Solving Mysteries Through Chemistry. NCW is an annual event that connects American Chemical Society (ACS) members with their community, schools, and others to share the importance of chemistry in everyday life.

The co-presenters shared resources useful for NCW, for integrating forensics into classroom curriculum, and for informal presentations to share science. ChemClub advisors will find ready-to-use demonstrations, lab investigations, videos, background information, and more. Although the resources presented focused on the middle school and high school levels, many can be adapted to earlier grade levels.

View the web seminar at the NSTA webinar archive site.To view the presentation slides from the web seminar and related resources, visit the NSTA resource collection.

X-Beauty: Green Chemistry Campaign

Korea International School, Jeju ChemClub

Greetings from ChemClub at Korea International School in Jeju, South Korea! Our ChemClub was created more than a year ago, but this is the first time sharing our news.

X-Beauty: Green Chemistry was the focus of an event on November 19, 2014. Our Club invited a certified cosmetician to speak to the group about “Jeju Green Tea: Healing & Beauty Ingredients.” After learning about Jeju green tea as an ingredient, students made their own green tea hand cream with eco-friendly ingredients.

Why green tea?

Components of green tea include polyphenols, which are well-known antioxidants. Most of these polyphenols are classified as catechins. They are thought to help retard skin’s aging and protect skin from sun exposure. Green tea has been used as an ingredient in anti-aging products as well as sunscreen skin products.

Make your own!

Continue reading “X-Beauty: Green Chemistry Campaign”

Demos-On-Wheels

Foy H. Moody High School students and teacher at the National NSTA Meeting in Boston
Foy H. Moody High School students and teacher at the NSTA National Conference

For most educators, presenting at a national education conference is a career achievement that only comes after years of teaching and learning.  But a talented group of ACS ChemClub students from Moody High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, did just that this spring.

The Presentation

The ChemClub co-presented a session at the NSTA 2014 National Conference in Boston, Mass.  Along with their teacher V. Dulip, they presented a session titled “A Demo a Week Makes Science Class the Peak”.

Participants included V. Dulip, J. Abrego, J. Baca, V. Cantu, J. Fryer, B. Kinch, E. Macias, and S. Parbhu.
students preparing their presentation materials & adjusting their goggles
Students preparing their presentation materials

During the session the group performed about 30 simple demonstrations with materials easily obtained from local stores. These demos were chosen to excite students’ interest and challenge them to do higher level thinking. The demos included making slime, bubbles, balloons, invisible glue, sinkers, floaters, color changes, and density. Sources for materials in the demos was explained, as well as how to get the maximum learning benefits from the demos. The session was well-attended and well-received by teachers.

Travel Highlights

The students got to listen to Bill Nye, Mayim Bialik (from The Big Bang Theory) and attended sessions by Texas Instruments (TI) and Vernier Software. They also visited the campuses of Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). An ex-Moody and science club member gave a tour of the MIT campus.

TX_Moody_2
In front of the famous McLaurin Building’s 150-foot-high “Great Dome” at MIT

Funding for the trip was provided by Harte Research Institute, Texas A & M University–Corpus Christi, CITGO Corporation, and a local engineering firm Govind and Associates.