Sunday, October 27, 2013

National Chemistry Week Comes to Cape Cod

Blog post updated: September 4, 2014 This one event was a finalist in two separate 2014 ChemLuminary Award categories in San Francisco August 12, 2014: Outstanding Collaboration Between a Local Section and a Division AND Outstanding National Chemistry Week Event for a Specific Audience

The event described below won the 2014 Chemluminary Award for Outstanding Collaboration Between a Local Section and a Division. Pictured are the members of the Northeastern Local Section of the American Chemical Society and the Environmental Chemistry Division with  members of ACS governance, receiving the award on stage at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, CA on Tuesday August 12, 2014.

Photo by Peter Cutts Photography
Update: September 12, 2014-NESACS offered to let us borrow the award. Jack was delighted to bring it to PID Analyzers today!

We'll bring it with us to our meeting at the Cape and Islands Boy Scouts of American Council office next week for our organizing committee meeting for the continuing program: Wicked Cool Science Cafe 2014Organizing Committee with the Award Photos to follow. 

Update: September 18, 2014
Jack Driscoll presented the ChemLuminary award that NESACS and ENVR won in San Francisco for the joint ACS/Boy Scout event, to some of the members of the 2013 Wicked Cool Event Organizing Committee, who represent the Cape and Islands Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

By: Jack Driscoll, NESACS Public Relations Chair and ENVR Division Member and Jennifer Maclachlan, NESACS Public Relations Committee Member and ENVR Appropriations Committee Member

Cambridge Science Festival brought a variety of energy-
related experiments to *Wicked Cool*
including making batteries using apples
NESACS and ENVR Bring National Chemistry Week to Cape Cod to Join with the Boy Scouts Wicked Cool Autumn Festival on Oct. 26, 2013

The Northeastern Section of the American
Chemical Society (NESACS) is one of the largest of the 187 sections of the American Chemical Society (ACS) with 7,500 members from academia and industry. We have had 11 Nobel Laureates in our section. The majority of the members (about 80%)are located in Boston. Cape Cod is in the South Eastern part of the section and during the International Year of Chemistry (2011), NESACS worked with PID Analyzers, a Cape Cod analytical and environmental instrumentation company, to run four science cafes for our members and the public. These very successful topics included protecting Cape Cod water, Alternate Energy, Chemistry of Beer (hosted by Cape Cod Beer) and Healthy Kids (for K-6 at Sandwich Public Library). The audiences ranged from 40 at the first Science Café to 150 at Healthy kids (K-6) Cafe. Learn more about the Cape Cod Science Cafe here.
Each year since 1987, the ACS runs National Chemistry Week (NCW) with a theme and each of the 187 sections participate. The theme of this year’s NCW is energy (Oct. 20-26, 2013). NESACS has programs for K-12 students at the Boston Museum of Science and the Boston Children’s Museum. We reach more than 3,000 children during that week with our events.  
We had "Wicked Cool Science Cafe" labelled Glow Sticks at our Chemistry Ambassador table
which is where kids picked up their Passports to Chemistry and got their
glow stick and patch when they completed the various activities

Nancy Gifford, Middle School Science Teacher in Harwich and
Jennifer Maclachlan, NESACS/ENVR are both members of
the Organizing Committee for the Wicked Cool Science Cafe.
Wicked cool patch. We're from Massachusetts-
We're allowed to say *wicked*

How we got involved with the Boy Scouts:
Our friend, Dennis Walczewski, whom we recruited to work at the NESACS/SCHB table at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Family Science Days event earlier in the year thought we could do something similar with the Cape and Islands Council of the Boy Scouts where Dennis serves on their board.
A STEM committee was formed to include Boy Scout board members, interested stakeholders and Jack Driscoll and Jennifer Maclachlan. Planning meetings began this summer and it was agreed that we would bring STEM programming into an existing event with a bigger, stand-alone event slated for next year (March 2014). We decided to incorporate a Science Café into the Boy Scouts Wicked Cool Autumn Welcome in October which is held at their campgrounds in South Yarmouth: Camp Greenough. Since this event is during NCW, and our Science Cafes have been quite popular, this was a natural fit with the Boy Scouts Annual Event. We merged the Wicked Cool Autumn Welcome with the Science Cafe and it became the Wicked Cool Science Cafe. The patch seen left was given as a "participant" patch to all the kids who attended the event. Our Local Section partnered with the American Chemical Society Division of Environmental Chemistry for this event.

Craig Christensen, Director of the Electrical Engineering Department at Suffolk University, was very popular with his alternative energy items including a Mendocino motor, Wimshurst machine, hand crank generator, wind mill, sparkers, and a mini-hand-crank train set race. 

Below is the event flyer that was used to promote the event to both the Boy Scout families as well as throughout the Cape Cod school district via backpack or virtual backpack. In order to do this, permission must be granted via the Superintendent of Schools for each District.

Peg from Cambridge Science Festival got to work outside by the lake administering the rocket launching.

The participants in this event included: ACS, NESACS, ENVR, Cambridge Science Festival-Science on the Street, Suffolk University Physics and Engineering Dept., Liquid Robotics, Green Briar Nature Center, Zephyr Education Foundation marine research and others. There were hands on experiments for K-6 students. 

Our chemistry ambassadors above are some of the local area scientists who talked to the kids about their careers. They are from Liquid Robotics, PID Analyzers, LLC , Zephyr Education Foundation and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI). We had envisioned this event being a K-12 event, but it ended up being K-6 which made the planned career talks turn out differently than planned but neat in it's own way-We paired the scientists at the outreach tables and they interacted with the kids and told them cool things about their jobs.
A follow-up  Boy Scout’s STEM  event on March 29, 2014 in conjunction with the American Chemical Society National Event: Chemists Celebrate Earth Day (CCED) occurred. Due to the success of both of these programs in 2013 and 2014, we will continue to offer an October and March program in 2014/2015. Save the date for National Chemistry Week comes to Cape Cod on Saturday October 25, 2014 and STEM Journey on March 28, 2015.

Wielding social media for effective science communication