Getting Involved with ACS High School Chemistry Clubs

Does your student chapter enjoy working with high school students?  Would you like a mechanism to connect with high school students interested in chemistry? Are you looking for mentoring opportunities?  If you said yes to any of the previous questions, then your student chapter should become involved with a local high school Chemistry Club (ACS ChemClub).

Modeled after the student chapters, the ChemClub program was started in 2005 to assist high school teachers and students in furthering their enthusiasm for chemistry.  Since 2005, the program has grown to almost 500 clubs in 47 states, Puerto Rico and a few other countries. You are likely to find a chemistry club in your area.

There are two things you can do now:

1) Contact your local ChemClub to plan a one-time activity, or set up a long term project.

2) Reach out to a high school in your area and encourage them to become an ACS ChemClub.

Go to our website to find local clubs with our directory or find information to provide to non-ChemClub schools in your area.

Here are some of the current partnerships that exist to inspire you:

In Central Florida, Florida Southern College’s student chapter works very closely with the Lakeland High School ChemClub.  Cheryl Pierce, the ChemClub advisor, believes that the mentoring the college students provide is a huge benefit for the ChemClub students:

The mentoring is the most important to me.  The high school students work with the chemistry majors and see how much they enjoy what they are studying. That mentoring is so important if we want students to go on into chemistry careers. The high school kids get to experience a college level lab in a college setting.  And when they understand the lab they realize they can do this-they can go into a Chem major.

In New York, the East Syracuse-Minoa High School ChemClub has partnered with the student chapter at Syracuse University for many events including an activity for which they received a ChemClub grant this year.  Their activity centered on “Food Chemistry”, which included a talk from a professor, a lunch, and 4 experiments that related to food.  Many times it is the college students who teach the high school students, but sometimes their roles are reversed.  According to Sally Mitchell, the ChemClub advisor:

Most of the students in the Syracuse University section have already collaborated with our ChemClub through the past NCW activities . . .  Many of the college students are very interested in nutrition and how chemistry plays a role.  This will be a great opportunity for the college students to see the high school students in action.  We do a lot of food science experiments in the high school, and most of the college students did not have this opportunity.

Many times, ChemClubs and student chapters get together to host an NCW or CCED event, and that is a building block for their partnership.  With CCED fast approaching, are you trying to figure out a way to celebrate?  Why not contact your local ChemClub and see if you can host an event together.

We hope you will take the time to reach out to the ChemClubs in your area and encourage non-ChemClub high schools to start one.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.  hschemclubs@acs.org

Check us out on the web – www.acs.org/chemclub and www.facebook.com/acschemclubs

Michael Mury is a Senior Education Associate at ACS in the K-12 Science Office.

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