The Fourth Annual Chemagination contest of the New York Section of the American Chemical Society was hosted by the New York Section at St. John’s University on May 10, 2007.  Chemagination is a science essay and poster contest for high school chemistry students, grades 9-12, that asks them to address the question, “What innovation or breakthrough in the field of chemistry will be important in the lives of teenagers 25 years from now?”  Students choose one of four categories: Alternative Energy Resources, Environment, Medicine /Health care, or New Materials and their entries are written as articles of 1000 words or less that might appear in a future issue of ChemMatters, the science publication for high school students.  Students make a poster presentation of their articles on the day of the contest.

The written entries were received through web submission in 2007 which were readily accessed by the judges. The 2007 event drew 32 posters from 7 high schools.  On the day of the contest approximately 90 students participated in the event through poster presentation attendance.

The Fourth Annual Chemagination contest began with welcoming remarks by Dr. Korlipara, Chemagination Coordinator; Dr. Rosso, Chairman of St. John’s University Chemistry Department; and Dr. Trombetta, Chairman of St. John’s University Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.  This was followed by the judging of posters.  A panel consisting of three judges interviewed each group of students and selected the top two posters in each category.  Judging criteria included scientific thought, creativity, clarity, thoroughness, and teamwork.  The first and second place winners in each category were given trophies.  All participants were given certificates of participation (prepared by Dr. Goldberg).  The first or second place winner in each category represented the NYACS at the Regional level, MARM 2007, Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA. on May 19, 2007.

The event was covered by the St. John’s University’s web design department.

The high schools that participated in 2007: Collegiate School; Division Avenue High School; Flushing High School; High School for Health Professions and Human Services; Hunter College High School; Locust Valley High School; and Ridgefield Park Junior/Senior High School.

Essay entries for Alternative Energy Sources: l. Hydrinomic Photonomy: Powering the Future; 2. Hydrogen Fuel: The Solution for Pollution; 3. A New Energy Source: Organics and the Seebeck Effect; 4. Gas Hydrates: The World’s New Fuel Source; and 5. Energy and the Environment: Two Sides of the Same Coin.

Essay entries for Medicine/HealthCare: 1. Out With The Old, In With The New-Muscles In Modern Medicine; 2. Diabetter: Recent Protein Discoveries Pave the Way for a Cure for Diabetes; 3. Stronger
Foods; 4. Nanomedicine and Gene Therapy: A Union for A Solution; 5. Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (SWNTs): Implications for Bone Remediation; 6. SGB-BOT; 7. DNA Roller Coaster; 7. New Cancer Therapy Becomes Available to the Public; 8. Advanced Drug Therapy for Tuberculosis; 9. Cancer-Out.

Essay entries for Environment: 1. The Atmospheric Solution: Solar Powered Planes and Carbon Dioxide Filters; 2. Agri-Char: A New World Through New Soil; 3. Environmental Research; 4. Saving Our Planet; 5. Solar Powered Water Purification; 6. Water Polymers; 7. Global Warming Abolished: A Nano-Chip Makes the Difference; and 8. Nanospheres: A Global Solution To A Global Problem.

Essay entries for New Materials: 1. Hydrofullerenic Armor; 2. Spacesilk: Revolutionizing the Art and Science of Space Travel; 3. Brain Juicer; 4. 3rd TV;  5. Synthetic Materials: 6. The Zeolite: Stability is Not Always Found in Solidity; 7. Transatlantic Tunnel; 8. The All-Skin Line: A Soothing Solution For Scorched Skin; and 9. IntelliClothes: “The Shield You Can Wear!”

In the May 10th Section Level Competition, the winners were: A New Energy Source: Organics and the Seebeck Effect; Out With The Old, In With The New-Muscles in Modern Medicine; The Atmospheric Solution: Solar Powered Planes and the Carbon Dioxide Filters; and 3rd TV.

The second place winners were: Hydrogen Fuel: The Solution for Pollution; Cancer-Out; Nanospheres: A Global Solution to a Global Problem; and Hydrofullerenic Armor.

The winners went to the MARM at Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA.  The Alternative Energy Sources - A New Energy Source: Organics and the Seebeck Effect from Locust Valley High School received a second place.  A New Materials - 3rd TV from Division Avenue High School received a second place.  Medicine/HealthCare - Cancer-Out from Ridgefield Park Jr/Sr High School received a second place.  Environment - The Atmospheric Solution: Solar Powered Planes and Carbon Dioxide Filters from the Collegiate School received a second place.

In her report, Vijaya offered special thanks to  Drs. Stephen Goldberg, Barbara Hillery, Alison Hyslop, Jill Rehmann, Ralph Stephani, and Justine Widera who served as the judges and to Dr. Goldberg and Dr. Stephani for serving as the committee members.

When the New York Section thinks of Chemagination, we think of Dr. Vijaya Korlipara.  She introduced the program after learning about it at the Leadership Conference for Chair-elect’s in 2003.  The introduction, growth  and success of this program are due to the efforts of Vijaya.  In 2004, the first year, 10 posters were received; 4 were sent to the Regional Level; and one went to National and won first place in its category.  New York was disappointed that only 10 posters were received but thrilled that NY was a winner at National.  The second; year, 15 posters submitted; 4 sent to Regional; and one to National, which won first place.  The third year, 2006, 39 posters were submitted: 11 different schools represented and over 100 high school students attended the event at St. John’s University.  The 5th Annual Chemagination Contest will be held on March 2008 at St. John’s.  Unfortunately, the rest of the ACS Sections did not find the same enthusiasm as here in New York -  so the National competition was canceled.  Thanks to Vijaya for keeping the flame of creativity burning bright in the New York Section.