Exploring the Chemistry of Caribbean Cuisine: A Student Competition

Exploring the Chemistry of Caribbean Cuisine: A Student Competition

The Agricultural and Food Chemistry Division (AGFD) of the American Chemical Society (ACS) is hosting a unique student , “Communicating Chemistry: Caribbean Cuisine (C4),” at the upcoming 251st ACS National Meeting & Exposition in San Diego, CA. Participating teams need to show a relationship between a concept in chemistry and an aspect of Caribbean cuisine, which is open to broad interpretation. The selection of the Caribbean as a theme for the 2016 competition is in honor of the newly chartered International Student Chapter at the University of the West Indies (Jamaica), from which many members are active participants in the AGFD division. The goal of the competition is to increase STEM literacy among the general public and to demonstrate how chemistry, in particular, relates to food and culture. The competition will also give students a chance to learn to communicate complex ideas to an audience without a formal scientific background.

For the first round of the competition, teams of up to 4 students must submit a video and written component, which are due by noon (EST) on February 8, 2016. More details can be found at the following website: http://www.hws.edu/news/caribbeancuisine.aspx.

Three finalist teams will be selected on the basis of the following criteria: scientific merit; clarity; entertainment/fun value; and connection of theme to broader chemical topics. Prizes include $750 for every finalist team member for travel to the ACS meeting, plus free for the meeting.

The final competition will take place on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Event Center. The finalist teams will prepare live, interactive presentations on their topics, as well as a display modeled after a science fair.

Judges include Jason Knibb (Executive Chef, Nine-Ten Restaurant and Bar), Terry Acree (Professor of Food Science, Cornell University), and Sally Mitchell (STEM Educator and Albert Einstein Fellow). One of our past competitions was featured in the September 1, 2014 edition of Chemical & Engineering News. http://cen.acs.org/articles/92/i35/Students-Compete-Edible-Science-Fair.html?h=-158806855

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