NATIONAL CHEMISTRY WEEK
AT THE NEW YORK HALL OF SCIENCE
OCTOBER 24, 2009
THE NCW POSTER CONTEST
The New York Section’s 5th exciting National Chemistry
Week Event (October 24, 2009) was again held in cooperation with the
New York Hall of Science in Queens (NYHOS) and PepsiCo, Inc in Westchester.
This is our Section's key event and it
several of our section goals, including collaboration with other organizations,
educational advancement, and outreach to the public. This
extremely successful event was organized with tremendous energy and enthusiasm
by David Sherman, Principal Research Specialist of PepsiCo., and Prof.
Jaime Lee Rizzo, of Pace University, with the indispensible assistance
of Madeline Hartman and Alice Stevensen of the NYHOS.
The Section was told that the Great Hall, our normal home
at NYHOS, would be under renovation until 2012, and we would therefore
have to use the smaller Viscusi Gallery. Despite the space limitation,
event reached over 1200 children and their parents. This made
it a capacity event; the Gallery was full of people from start to finish.
And we have a following! Conversations with attendees made it clear
that some know us from past years and return because they love the event,
while others have discovered us for the first time and want to know when
we’ll be back. The same is true for the volunteers, who are from
industry, universities, colleges, high schools and friends. Some
have volunteered before, others are first-timers. All have a great time!
And, yes, we were invited back for the 6th year.
In 2009 the event had 290
volunteers from a high school, 12 colleges
and universities, 7 local companies, and a major league baseball team.
PepsiCo is always crucial, supplying numerous volunteers.
Academia was represented by the following: St. John’s University, Hofstra,
NYU, College of Mt. St. Vincent, Manhattan College, Barnard College, Pace
University, Adelphi University, St. Joseph’s College, Iona College, Columbia
University, Polytechnic University, and Manhattan Village Academy High
School. In addition to PepsiCo, industry was represented by International
Flavors and Fragrances, VWR, Scientific Supply Catalogue, Agilent Technologies,
Citrus and Allied, and Ace Glass.
For the second year in a row, both attendees and volunteers
were thrilled by the presence of the NY Mets mascot
Mr. Met who, transformed by a lab coat over his uniform, became
our own Dr. Met!
New this year was an Element
Bingo game in keeping with the year’s theme: Chemistry
- It’s Elemental. The game took place in the NYHOS’s auditorium,
a first for us, and featured an interactive periodic table, with periodic
table pens as prizes. It was so successful that it will definitely
be part of the 2010 program.
The event was a carnival of over 40
demonstrations and hands-on activities that were visual, tactile,
gustatory and participatory. In addition to the new Elemental
Bingo in the auditorium, games in the Gallery
included a Scent IQ Test and
PepsiCo provided everyone’s favorite: Make Your Own Gatorade.
(The section Chair this year went with blue yumberry labeled Magic Elixir.)
Other hands-on activities included: carnations frozen in liquid nitrogen,
Bubbles, Silly Putty, Slime, Ooblek, Gluep, Magic Mushrooms, Ghost Crystals,
Baggie Science, Invisible Ink, Acid-base reactions with household materials,
Fluorescent Glue, Forensic Fingerprinting, Noisy Poppers, Buoyancy Experiments,
Polystyrene Shrinkers, and Japanese Marble Painting.
Safety is fundamental to chemistry education, and we
distributed goggles and aprons to all visitors, as well as a package
containing an NCW newspaper and (in keeping with the theme) a Periodic
Table. We depend on and appreciate our volunteers, and all
were given an ACS Periodic Table Scope as well as an ACS Certificate of
Participation. This year, Alfa Aesar and VWR supplied (donated) Periodic
Tables for all.
In 2007, the NY Section received an ACS-LSAC grant for NCW.
Working with the scientific supply companies in the interest of safety,
- Carolina Biological Supply Company, Flinn Scientific, Inc., VWR and Educational
Innovations, Inc, we were able to come to a deal that for each item purchased,
the company would match it. The result was that the NY Section had
a sufficient supply of goggles and aprons to bring us to 2010.
Publicity for the event is enhanced
through the collaborations involved. The NYHOS has many avenues
of publicity- website, newsletter of activities, NY Times, World Journal
(Chinese Newspaper), and NPR. The NY Section has The Indicator and
its website, and an intrinsic ability to reach the local science community
as well as underrepresented groups. This is enhanced through contributing
colleges and universities publicizing the event through campus postings,
and participating teachers posting to professional networks and e-blasts
(such as the UFT Science Activities of NYC). The NYHOS reaches out
to their residential neighbors in Queens, and the NY Section extends that
to all five boroughs of New York as well as Long Island and Northern NJ.
Since its inception 5 years ago, we
have had a 105% increase in the number of hands-on and demo activities,
a 140% increase in the number of attendees, and a 230% increase in the
number of volunteers! We have gone from a few tables in the
hallway to a hallway, a Gallery, and an auditorium. We continue
to reach new people every year, who let us know how thrilled they are to
find the NYACS at the NYHOS, and who beg us to come back tomorrow so that
they can bring their friends.
The New York Section keeps breaking records as it celebrates
Volunteers - 88 in 2005 to 290 in 2009.
Demos - 20
in 2005 to 41 in 2009
High School, College, University, Private Companies/Corporations
- 10 in 2005 to 20 in 2009
Attendance - 500 in 2005 to over 1200 in 2009
NCW POSTER CONTEST >>>>>>>>>
Each year the New York Section sponsors the NCW poster contest.
It was advertised in The Indicator and on the NY web site.
Eighteen Posters were received from kindergarten to grade 12. Each
year the number of posters submitted has been increasing in number.
NY was so pleased that the poster submitted by Courtney Bissonette
of Division Avenue HS in Levittown, Elemental Power, received 2nd place
in the National ACS contest.
Courtney and her teacher, Renee Locker, were honored at the
Annual Meeting of the NY Section in January 2010. Ms. Locker received
a copy of The Merck Index. Picture of the poster was published in
C&E News and The Indicator.
2009 Chair of NCW Committee