Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Science Carnival 2014 at Cambridge Science Festival

2014 marks my third time participating in the Cambridge Science Festival public outreach event: The Science Carnival and Robot Zoo. It is exactly as awesome and cool sounding as it's title. This year I brought along Chemistry Ambassador superstar Dr. Al Hazari, who is widely recognized for his enthusiastic chemistry outreach. Dr. Hazari is a Helen M. Free Award recipient. The Helen M. Free award for Public Outreach recognizes outstanding achievements in the field of public outreach by a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) who improves public recognition and appreciation for the contributions of chemistry.
Setting up the three ACS tables at 2014 #cambscifest Science Carnival
My daughters and I on our way to
work at the Science Carnival
We were placed indoors this year which I was secretly glad about since although it was a beautiful sunny Spring day in Cambridge, it can get breezy (cold!) on the tennis courts where we've been the last two years. We had three American Chemical Society tables in The Micro Zone. Dr. Hazari had his own table loaded with toys and various hands-on experiments. The experiments varied in complexity; for instance, my nine year old (pictured above left) and another volunteer's eleven year old (pictured above right) were able to conduct simple hands-on demonstrations for carnival go-ers.

Click here to download the
pdf handout
I setup my pH table. It's so simple, easy for people to understand and since the 2014 Chemists Celebrate Earth Day theme is Water, I brought some Cape Cod water samples and personally handed out 250 copies of the Chemists Celebrate Earth Day activity book to participants who came to my table and performed a pH experiment with litmus paper. I also brought vinegar, an energy drink, and ammonia containing window cleaner so those conducting the experiment could experience the range on the pH scale.
Note the train-the-trainer going on in the
background with Cosmo and Dr. Hazari (rainbow
lab coat)

Cosmo Sabatino, a member of the Northeastern Local Section of the American Chemical Society (NESACS) Public Relations Committee, worked the third table. After an exhilarating demo of Dr. Hazari's arsenal of outreach supplies, Cosmo chose the ones he wanted to use. I think his favorite was the Newton's Beads which defied gravity and stole the attention of passerbys. 

Cosmo was assisted by my daughter and then by Sonja Strah-Pleynet's daughter. Sonja and the young ladies worked all three tables and jumped in to help when we got inundated with a crowd which built steadily throughout the afternoon. The event was scheduled from 12pm-4pm but we had a throng of carnival attendees from 11:30am-4:40pm. We finally had to tell Dr. Hazari that it was, well, over. 

Dr. Hazari is famous for his rainbow lab coat AND his pink safety goggles
Cosmo reeling in the Newton's Beads for the next group
Getting in some one-on-one time before it got hectic

There was a steady crowd throughout the afternoon and before we knew it...

It was way past 4pm and we were still going...
It was time to put away the dolly and pack all this stuff up for Tennessee

Dr. Hazari and Jennifer Maclachlan Salute!
A wonderful ending to an amazing outreach weekend. Read about our teacher workshop the night before the science carnival. 

When Dr. Hazari returned to Tennessee, it was announced that he is the 2014 recipient of the Chancellor's Award. This Alumni Public Service Award honors a faculty or staff member whose work has made a significant impact on the Knoxville-area community.
Read about it here.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Innovations in IH Sampling and Analysis at #AIHce 2014

PO 131

Innovations In IH Sampling and Analysis

Jennifer Maclachlan at #InnovateIH talking about the
PID method for the determination
of arsine at low ppb levels
San Antonio, TX June 4, 2014

Live tweeting during this session? Use hashtag #InnovateIH in addition to the conference hashtag #AIHce

DATE: Wednesday June 4, 2014 | 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

LOCATION: San Antonio, TX Convention Center Room 214C
Sampling and Laboratory Analysis
Arranger: J. Cooper, Bureau Veritas, Novi, MI
Moderator: D. Sandusky, Forensic Analytical Laboratories, Inc., Hayward, CA
Monitors: M. Hsieh, Abbvie, Libertyville, IL; E. Floyd, OUHSC, Moody, AL
2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Adaptation of a CIP10 to the Sampling of 4,4′-Methylene Diphenyl Diisocyanate Aerosols
S. Gagné, S. Aubin, IRSST, Montréal, QC, Canada; S. Puscasu, H. Van Tra UQAM, Montréal, QC, Canada
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Sampling and Analytical Method for Diketone Flavoring Compounds
J. Cooper, Bureau Veritas, Novi, MI; S. Pendergrass, NIOSH, Cincinnati, OH
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
J. Maclachlan; PID Analyzers, LLC, Sandwich, Massachusetts, MA 
3:30  PM – 4:00 PM
Improved 37mm (Diameter) Mixed Cellulose Ester Matched Weight Cassette Integrity by Cellulose O-Ring Addition
C. Irwin, A. Choquette; Galson Laboratories, East Syracuse, NY
4:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Investigation of Relationship of Pump Pulsation Between NIOSH and EN 1232 Method
J. Soo, E. Lee, L. Lee, M. Kashon, M. Harper; NIOSH/HELD/EAB, Morgantown, WV
- See more at:


Real Time Detection Systems II #AIHce 2014

L To r: e. ligus, p. smith, j. maclachlan and e. floyd
PO 123

Real Time Detection Systems II

Live tweeting during this session? Use hashtag #RTDS2 in addition to the conference hashtag #AIHce

DATE: Wednesday June 4, 2014 | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

LOCATION: San Antonio, TX Convention Center 0006 C-D
TOPIC: Real-Time Detection Systems
Arranger: W. Groves, Energy and Mineral Engineering, Penn State University, University Park, PA
Moderator: P. Smith, U.S. Department of Labor  - OSHA, Sandy, UT
Monitors: E. Ligus, Draeger Safety, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA; T. Pearce, OSHA, Edmond, OK
10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Field Measurement of Common Fumigants via Portable GC with PID & FUV Detectors
J. Driscoll, J. Maclachlan, PID Analyzers, LLC, Sandwich, Massachusetts, MA

11:00 AM – 11:30 AM Elimination of Sensor Maintenance by Sensor Interrogation and Correction T. Scheffler, Mine Safety Appliances Co., Cranberry Township, PA
11:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Estimating Integrated VOC Exposure in Near Real-TimeE. Floyd, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK; C. Lungu, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
- See more at:

Real Time Detection Systems I at #AIHce 2014

PO 115
Jennifer Maclachlan presenting A Rapid and Accurate
Field Method for Reduced Sulfur Compounds by GC/FPD
San Antonio, TX June 3, 2014

Real Time Detection Systems I

Live tweeting during this session? Use hashtag #RTDS1 in addition to the conference hashtag #AIHce

DATE: Tuesday June 3, 2014| 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

LOCATION: San Antonio, TX Convention Center 214A
TOPIC: Real-Time Detection Systems
Arranger: P. Smith, U.S. Department of Labor – OSHA, Sandy, UT
Moderator: W. Groves, Energy and Mineral Engineering, Penn State University, University Park, PA
Monitors: M. Roe, 3M, Blaine, MN; P. Moser, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
2:00 PM – 2:30 PM Field-Portable Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy for Simultaneous Detection and Quantitation of an Unexpected Airborne Contaminant
P. Smith, J. Hill, U.S. Department of Labor – OSHA, Sandy, UT
J. Driscoll, J. Maclachlan, PID Analyzers, LLC, Sandwich, MA
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM Real-time Field Assessment Methods for Quantifying Carbon Dioxide Levels Present in Workplace Atmospheres
J. Hill, P. Smith, U.S. Department of Labor – OSHA, Sandy, UT

- See more Real Time Detection Systems at #AIHce 2014


@pidguy's candidate statement for NESACS Trustee 2014

John "Jack" Driscoll introducing 2013 Nobel Laureate, Martin Karplus at the March 2014 NESACS Meeting
Photo by M.Z. Hoffman

Here is a link to the slate of candidates

Here is a link to The Nucleus May 2014 Issue of the #NESACS newsletter that has the printed candidate statements in it.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

New analytical method for low level detection of arsenic in food and beverages

Abstract confirmation number: 19681
Title: New analytical method for low level detection of arsenic in food and beverages 
Session: Analytical Methods in Agricultural and Food Chemistry; Agricultural and Food Chemistry General Papers, Oral Session
Presentation scheduled for Wednesday August 13, 2014
Presentation Start: 10:20 am
Presentation End: 10:50 am

Title: New analytical method for low level detection of arsenic in food and beverages  
Abstract Body: Since As+3 and As+5 form stable hydrides that have ionization potentials of 10.5 eV, it can be detected using a photoionization detector that has a lamp energy of 10.6 eV. Photoionization has been coupled to hydride generation and shown to be a very sensitive technique by a number of researchers to determine arsenic in natural waters at low or sub ppb concentrations. The disadvantage of this technique is that it uses a liquid nitrogen trap to concentrate the arsine.
We have modified that method by eliminating the liquid nitrogen and using a new PID that improves the detection limit by up to 10 fold. We can detect arsenic down to 0.1 ppb. We have applied this method to the analysis of water, juices and rice.
The hydride generation minimizes any sample preparation, and the GC is used to separate arsenic from other metal hydrides and their organic counterparts.

Link to more information about PID Analyzers as a 2013 R&D 100 Award recipient. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

ACS ERC 2014 SHOWCASE EAST (April 9, 2014) STREAMED LIVE and the winner is...

American Chemical Society Entrepreneurial Showcase East #ACSERC 2014 SHOWCASE EAST (April 9, 2014) Eighteen chemistry based #startups competed for a $10,000 cash prize in Waltham, MA at #ACSERC Showcase East. View the taped presentations online.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

ACS ERC Showcase East Event happening April 9, 2014 Register Now!

This Wednesday is the ACS Entrepreneurial Resource Center 2014 Showcase East event, featuring the chemistry, management teams, and value propositions of 19 exciting chemical start-ups that are looking for investments and/or strategic partners.  The companies offer a broad range of chemistries involving materials, scientific instruments, therapeutic candidates, diagnostic devices, and cleantech products.  I’ve attached a Program Agenda for your review and use.

DAY Program (Wednesday, April 9, 2014 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT):

If you’d like to participate live and view the presentations, please register at ACS ERC 2014 Showcase East Registration.  It’s free!  Here are the directions: Hilton Garden Inn Boston/Waltham, 450 Totten Pond Road, Waltham, MA 02451. Scroll down to see names and types of companies that are participating in the business competition or click here to view.

If you can’t make it, but would like to join us online, please use the following link:ACS ERC 2014 Showcase East Virtual Participation Link.
EVENING Program (Wednesday, April 9, 2014 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT):

There is a reception and evening program at the headquarters of Nova Biomedical Corporation, 200 Prospect Street, Waltham MA, 02254-9141. It’s also free to attend!   If you’d like to attend, please register at ACS ERC 2014 Showcase East - Evening Program.

Thanks for considering this event, and we hope you can join us!

With very best regards,


Innovation Counsel | Administrator to the ACS Entrepreneurial Resources Center

American Chemical Society
1155 16th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

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