Since our last newsletter we have been busy with many outreach activities ranging from field trips involving high school advanced placement (AP) chemistry students to elementary and middle school visits.
Last month Mike McKelvy, who is currently teaching chemistry at Basha High School in Chandler, brought a group of approximately 74 talented AP chemistry students to visit the department. In the morning the students toured the Ion Beam Lab of Barry Wilkens, Material Science Lab of Timothy Karcher, the Science is Fun sequence with Roxanna Montoya Gonzalez and were entertained with a spectacular series of chemical demonstrations by Gary Mansour entitled “What chemistry is all about”.
The students also toured our glassblowing facility where they were impressed by the dexterity of Christine Roeger as well as the MACME engineering lab. Professor William Petuskey and undergraduates Andrea Loes and Kevin Miranda gave talks to the students at lunch which was hosted by the department.
Adrienne Leland’s class of gifted students from Sunrise Middle School also recently visited on a field trip very similar to the one described above. They were particularly excited that that they could take home two swan barometers made for them by Christine Roeger.
Our Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS) have been busy enriching the curricula of several elementary and middle schools with their demonstrations.
They recently put on a show for an after school science club at Kyrene Aprende Middle School. In the words of Douglas Elijew, “ We were hosted by Wolfgang Ganey, a teacher at the school. The students, a mix of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, enjoyed an hour of learning and fun as demonstrated by chemistry. They were shown certain experiments, and the science behind why they work. One example was the formation of “elephant’s toothpaste” which is an iodide catalyzed degradation of hydrogen peroxide. All in all, the students loved the show, a nice deviation from their normal club activities. They were enthusiastic, entertained, and educated about chemistry.”
SAACS students, Doug Elijew, Andrea Loes, Paul Akhenblit and Kevin Miranda also very recently visited Karen Batson’s class of excited eighth grade students at Mountainside Middle School. They provided students with hands-on demonstrations concerning light, magnetism, chemiluminescence, changes of state (with the help of liquid nitrogen) and much more.