As the spring semester begins at Sacramento State University, the Chemistry Club takes time to reflect back on a productive fall semester and is poised to take advantage of opportunities in the spring semester.
October began with our club hosting a workshop for the Expanding Your Horizons conference at Sacramento State. It has become an annual tradition for the Chemistry Club to participate in this conference; we take great pride in sharing our chemistry with middle school girls and fostering their interest in science. Our workshop this year, “Bubble, Pop, and Fizz: Gas Reactions in Chemistry,” opened with elephant toothpaste and a crystal ball created from dry ice and soap. We also made carbon dioxide balloons using baking soda and then turned the gas to a solid with liquid nitrogen. Our last experiment involved testing which basic rocks could generate gas when mixed with acid. Mentos shooters provided a grand finale to the workshop and sent the middle school girls home with great memories.
The Chemistry Club celebrated several events in the fall semester for the campus community. Our booth at the Sacramento State Homecoming Pre-Game Festival was among the most popular. We made slime, colorful tie-dye chromatography, and frozen bubbles on dry ice for fellow students, Sacramento State families, and the community in general. Just days later, we participated in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Club Fair Kickoff. Joining with other clubs in the college, we placed a booth outside our science building
to inform as many students as possible about our club, recruit new members, and have fun making slime. Finally, we celebrated Mole Day in grand fashion in the lobby of our science building. We had a wonderful time with fellow students and faculty playing periodic table bingo, guess the moles of water, and enjoying hand-made mole cupcakes.
The spring semester is presently underway at Sacramento State, and the Chemistry Club is planning for outreach to local schools and professional development opportunities for its members. We are touring the facilities at Bayer CropScience in West Sacramento and learning about careers there in the emerging field of biologics used for pest management in agriculture. We have invited a CSUS alumnus currently working at AMPAC Fine Chemicals in Rancho Cordova to give a seminar on his job as a process scientist there. In addition, the Chemistry Club will be attending the National ACS Meeting in San Francisco, presenting at the Successful Student Chapters poster session, and supporting our members’ research poster presentations. We are excited for the chance to meet other chemistry clubs, learn about careers in chemistry, and hear about the newest developments in chemistry research. In the area of outreach, we will host a booth for Family Science Night at an elementary school in Elk Grove and are planning for an afternoon of fun chemistry experiments and demonstrations at Shriner’s Hospital. We truly look forward to these chances to share our enthusiasm for chemistry with the younger students and children.