West Virginia State Students Receive Grant for Water Quality Education

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363
July 23, 2014
West Virginia State Students Receive Grant for Water Quality Education

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – The West Virginia State University (WVSU) student chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS) has been awarded a grant to help educate elementary schools in the Kanawha Valley about the importance of safe drinking water.

The $400 grant from the ACS will help provide resources and materials needed for the construction of science boxes that would include a variety of experiments designed to encourage the elementary school students to learn more about water.

The WVSU students believe that it is important for area residents to have a greater understanding of water-related issues in the wake of the chemical spill earlier this year that affected the drinking water of more than 300,000 West Virginians.

“The West Virginia State University student members of the American Chemical Society have and will continue to work to build professional skills and community outreach work on the topics that they are passionate about.  This grant will allow them the opportunity to share their knowledge of chemistry with elementary schools throughout the Kanawha Valley region,” said Dr. Micheal Fultz, WVSU Assistant Professor of Chemistry.

This program will create science boxes using nonhazardous materials that require little professional expertise and will be placed in all of the schools that were affected by the chemical spill earlier this year. The grant funds will allow for the purchase of chemicals and supplies needed to construct the boxes. Activated carbon, sand, fine gravel, filter paper and funnels will be purchased for water purification labs. Pipets, pennies and soap will be used to demonstrate the surface tension of water. Soap, magnesium and sodium salts will be incorporated into the boxes to illustrate hard water and soap scum.

WVSU Alumni have also offered to help cover the costs of extra materials needed beyond what the grant pays for to make the ACS students successful with their community service.

“Without the alumni support we could not do much of what we do,” Fultz said.

ACS student members will work during the fall semester to assemble the science boxes for distribution to the area schools in early 2015.
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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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