The chemistry club at UCD had a very active fall quarter. We were involved in several chemistry demonstrations in collaboration with the chemistry department’s outreach committee. In honor of national chemistry week we helped host a two day event at the discovery museum science and space center in Sacramento during which we had table top demos for small children. We were even featured on Good Day Sacramento to advertise the event.
We also took a chemistry inspired tour of Sudwerk Brewing co. here in Davis in order to learn about the brewing process. Events such as this allow our members to socialize with each other, faculty, and staff while highlighting the chemistry found in everyday life.
In honor of the thanksgiving holiday and to give back to our community we hosted our first ever food drive for Davis Community Meals during the month of November.
We even represented our dicipline over winter break during a snowday at Sierra at Tahoe!
So far this quarter we have hosted a presentation and Q&A from AMPAC Fine Chemicals for our members interested in pharmaceutical chemistry.
Coming up next we have a tour planned at the Sacramento forensics lab and a collaborative soap project described below.
The Soap Project encompasses literature reports, full wet-lab syntheses, branding, packaging, and distribution of soap. We aim to fundraise for the numerous outreach events that we conduct. Saponification is the process that produces soap. Vegetable oil and animal fats (composed of triglycerides) are treated with strong bases (NaOH or KOH) to produce crude soap and glycerol (a byproduct). Generally, there are two methods of producing soap in small batches: the cold process, in which the saponification process takes place at room temperature, and hot process, in which the saponification process is accelerated by the addition of heat. Each process has their own advantages in respect to productivity and has their own (subtle) distinctive product characteristics. The soap is then cured, allowing the water to evaporate. After curing, the soap is ready for use.
The Soap Project is a wonderful opportunity for anyone, regard-less of major, to be involved in a fun and educational experience and to put chemistry into practice. We will be fundraising for this project through a Chemistry themed bake sale on January 4th.