Monday, February 27, 2012

An afternoon in the life of a chemistry ambassador


Guest Blog post by: Dr. Jack Driscoll


Today (Feb. 27, 2012) I visited the Cold Springs Elementary School in Plymouth, MA. I had met the Principal (Mrs. Laura Dolloff) at our 4thCape Cod Science CafĂ© in Dec. 2011. Two of the teachers were interested in starting a science club and my visit would kick it off. I brought a few slides to explain pH and three water samples (pH range 5-11) to provide a bit of color for the pH paper test. We had nearly 100 students from grades 2-5. When I asked for volunteers, everyone raised their hands. One of the teachers commented that some of those kids never volunteer for anything, I picked two boys and a girl who were very excited. About 10 children used the pH paper before  their buses were there.

 




I explained that science can be more difficult than geography but we live in a very technological society and it will be even more so in your generation. I mentioned a Dick Tracy comic strip in the 1950’s where his “TV watch” was used to communicate with HQ. Now 60 years later, that technology is available in the I Phone. I asked how many of you have cell phones and 80% raised their hands. This surprised the teachers. 

I showed them the portable VOC analyzer that we manufacture in Sandwich and the class got very excited. 


Kim Williams, who teaches 4th  and  5th grade science did an experiment called "elephant tooth paste" and the kids loved it! 

I had at least a half dozen kids come up to me and tell me that they loved science. That made it all worthwhile. 

I talked to the two teachers for about an hour after the talk discussing NESACS programs with Boston MOS and Boston Children’s Museum, Cambridge Science Festival, SE MA STEM EXPO and various ACS programs and experiments for schools. I suggested that they become chemistrv ambassadors and look for videos of Bassam Shakhashiri experiments on you tube that would be interesting for their students...by Jack Driscoll

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