COSAM News Articles 2018 October Auburn Students Inspire Future Scientists during National Chemistry Week

Auburn Students Inspire Future Scientists during National Chemistry Week

Published: 10/25/2018

By: Maria Gebhardt

Students from the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Honor Society at Auburn University, Phi Lambda Upsilon, participated in outreach programs to increase awareness of National Chemistry Week, October 21-27, 2018, whose theme was Chemistry is Out of this World.

The Auburn University participating students (PLU officers: Thomas Minetree, Bryna Martinez and Lily Weeks), shared information about chemiluminescence, the science behind chemical reactions that makes the light for fireflies, glow sticks and deep sea fish with students at Wright's Mill Elementary School.

During their class demonstrations, the chemistry and chemical engineering students talked about the different attributes that are associated with chemiluminescence, including its presence in outer space science, and demonstrated properties with glow sticks for the elementary classes.  The activities are a fun way to incorporate chemistry into the current curriculum for younger students who may not be exposed to the field of chemistry. 

“National Chemistry Week is important because it gathers scientists and communities around a specific topic each year, and it fosters discussions about chemistry in settings where chemistry might not usually be a focus,” explains Bryna Martinez, a chemistry major at Auburn University. “For example, we get to go do outreach with local students who are young enough that they haven't had a specific chemistry class yet; National Chemistry Week gives them an opportunity to be exposed to chemistry early on, and hopefully they get the message that chemistry is important, interesting, and part of our everyday lives.”  Professor Stewart Schneller, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is the faculty advisor for Phi Lambda Upsilon.

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