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UST American Chemical Society Chapter Hosts Chemistry Week Events on Campus

By Brittani Wright

ACS Student Chapter at Children's Museum National Chemistry Week is a celebration across the nation for the American Chemical Society (ACS). This year, the event was held Oct. 20-26 with the theme “Marvelous Metals,” relating to the International Year of the Periodic Table. The University of St. Thomas ACS Student Chapter collaborated with the Greater Houston Section to host events on campus and at the nearby Children’s Museum.

“Program in a box” is how Dr. Crystal Young, assistant professor of chemistry described the first event.

“It was a live, interactive video that included different speakers who discussed careers in chemistry covering the ‘marvelous metals’ theme.

We also held a seminar with forensic scientist, Sebastian Frommhold, who spoke about drug analyses. The Greater Houston Section has these resources and connections that UST can tap into and partner with to bring events to campus. It has been a great way to bring attention to UST from people who might not have been aware of us before.”

The week-long programs ended with the annual Children’s Museum event, where more than 300 children and parents participated in chemistry demos.

“We have volunteers,” Young said, “who man the tables where the children learn about elements by playing with Play-doh and other interactive demos. It’s a great opportunity to reach out to the community and get kids excited about chemistry.”

UST ACS Student Chapter Wins Outstanding Student Chapter

The UST ACS Student Chapter was invited to attend the Local Section Awards dinner to receive the Partnership for Progress and Prosperity Award (P3). The recognition was given for the collaborative efforts of multiple events that were hosted, and their high level of involvement from 2018 to 2019.

The UST ACS Student Chapter also won the Outstanding Student Chapter 2018 award.

“It takes a lot of team work,” UST student and ACS member, Natalia Penaloza, said. “Our Student Chapter had amazing leaders last year who were able to communicate and form connections outside of UST.”

The Outstanding Chapter award will be presented at the National Research Conference 2020 in Philadelphia.