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Chemistry and Biochemistry News

Keyword: outreach

 

For the second year in a row, the ACS Club performed a Chemistry Magic Show as part of the Maryland STEM Festival.  The standing room only crowd loved every minute of the event- the visiting children were captivated with the experiments that were performed and laughed at the chemistry jokes.  A great time was had by all and we look forward to doing this again next year!

In honor of Halloween, chemistry professor, Dr. Jeremy Burkett gave a fun and informative presentation titled “Vampires: Fact or Fiction?”. The presentation discussed biochemical, psychological, and sociological phenomena that could have led to the legends about vampires which exist in every culture. Student and faculty laughed along with the logical, though exaggerated, tales among townspeople that contributed to the image of vampires that we still use today.

Maybe next Halloween, we will be lucky enough to get a lecture on werewolves!

Dr. Jody Johnson, Adjunct Professor of Chemistry, presented the Susan Slattery Memorial Lecture on Pollinators:  Here Today, Save for Tomorrow.  Dr. Johnson discussed the chemistry and biology involved in pollination and what students can do to help ensure the future of pollination here in Maryland.  Her presentation was very interesting, lively, and well-enjoyed by a large crowd of students, faculty and staff.  

Chemistry faculty members were happy to participate in and provide workshops for this year’s Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) event.  Dr. Tracey Mason had a lot of fun teaching the girls about the chemistry of film photography. The students produced a light reactive chemical that was used to produce a negative image of their photograph. Light was shown on the image to expose their pictures. The girls were able to take home the photographs that they had exposed!  Dr. Michelle Ivey and Dr. Sara Narayan helped the girls learn about the chemistry of glow sticks. The students mixed two solutions together to produce an illuminated substance of a pretty purple and blue light. The girls took home their glowing necklaces.  The faculty enjoyed sharing their love of chemistry with the middle school girls.

The School of the Sciences has been hosting an Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) day-long event for middle school girls for many years.  EYH is dedicated to providing gateway STEM experiences for girls that spark interest in STEM activities and careers. This year, 98 middle school girls participated!  In addition, we had 75 SU volunteers and STEM professionals to assist the girls with a wide variety of hands-on workshops from a variety of STEM fields. The girls were each able to choose and participate in three hands-on workshops and also to hear from keynote speaker, Alyssa Shedlosky, a robotics engineer with Becton Dickinson. A great day was had by all!  Congratulations to Dr. Kim Tucker who coordinated the event.

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