In a season of physical gifting, there are many things to celebrate for those we love. Most of the time this takes the form of joyous shopping and wrapping and waiting for that moment when faces light up with surprise. But the best of all worlds is when the celebration is about the things that really matter, the traits molded and shaped throughout the year, like the formation of a Club especially for Chemistry students. This resulted in a holiday Celebration-Dinner on a whole other level.
ChemClub at Villa Park High School in Villa Park, CA, is advised by Chemistry teacher Dr. Linda Bartrom-Olsen. It is the newest club on campus this school year, already 50+ strong, and one of the few with a scholarly focus. Villa Park ChemClub Board members formed the club over the summer of 2012, and adopted the theme: “Scholars of Today, Citizens of Tomorrow.”
Once school began, the Board decided to meet the first Monday of every month to plan club activities. The primary focus of the club is to provide a bridge to chemistry at the university and professional levels through a series of speakers. So far they have had three speakers: Dr. John Haan from California State University at Fullerton, CA, speaking in October on his research on Alkaline Based Fuel Cells; business owner Greg Mills in November speaking about his companies work with Transition Metals; in December the group met for their holiday dinner and in January a Villa Park ChemClub Newsletter went out to all members; most recently in February Dr. Madeline Rasch lectured on her work with the Biochemistry of Microorganisms.
Their work brings no applause, there is no pay, but the remarkable job they do through our local ChemClub in giving students interested in Chemistry a leg up toward their university and professional careers serves not only the school, and the student-members, but the society of which they are a part, in producing focused work-oriented citizens to serve the future.