WVSU Student Chemistry Group Wins Outstanding Chapter Award


WVSU Student Chemistry Group Wins Outstanding Chapter Award

INSTITUTE, W.Va. -- West Virginia State University’s student chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS) is receiving an Outstanding Chapter Award for its 2011-2012 activities. The group is also receiving Green Chemistry Chapter recognition for the third year in a row.

The group was praised for their outreach efforts by award judges, with reviewers citing the impressive number of activities being conducted from a school the size of WVSU. Only a small number of chapters in the nation receive the Outstanding Chapter rating. 

The student chapter was re-established in 2009 by Dr. Micheal Fultz, assistant professor of Chemistry, after more than 15 years of dormancy. After starting small with 5-6 students, recent meetings have had as many as 20 students interested in the outreach efforts of the group. “The ACS students are quite busy in their outreach work,” he said. “We are taking the University into schools on a regular basis to enhance science education from kindergarten through twelfth grade.”

The group hosts educational programs for schools throughout Kanawha County, which include lectures on topics such as Green Chemistry, as well as hands-on activities. They have worked with such groups as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and take part in National Chemistry Week, Earth Day and blood drives, among other events.

“It was very enjoyable and rewarding to reach out to the kids in the Kanawha Valley and demonstrate how science is really fun,” said Bill Rollyson, a recent WVSU graduate and last year’s group president.

“They recognize us now and know us as part of this program,” adds Joshua Kim, a Biology major and the group’s current president. “It’s interesting to see them being so inquisitive.” Kim has noticed kids asking group members about their career goals then following up with, ‘How can we do that too?’

“We’ve seen some very bright kids,” he said, noting that others simply enjoy watching the activities, many of which include small explosions and fire-related experiments.

The group attempts to integrate their activities with the curriculum being taught during science classes in the schools. One recent activity simulated an oil spill and taught the students about its effects on animals and the environment.Award-winning chapters will be recognized in the November/December issue of inChemistry magazine and at the ACS Student Chapter Award Ceremony, which will take place at the ACS National Meeting in New Orleans.


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