Chemistry and Biochemistry

Local Elementary and High School Students Participate in National Lab Day Hosted by BYU

Posted: May 26, 2010

The Y Chem Society invited local students to participate in National Lab Day on Saturday, May 15, at Brigham Young University. National Lab Day came about last year through collaboration between the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the White House Domestic Policy Council, the American Chemical Society (ACS), and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).

Thomas H. Lane, the current ACS president, sees National Lab Day as an important initiative in preparing for the future.
“I hope National Lab Day will spark tremendous interest in science among students and encourage them to become the scientific innovators that this nation so desperately needs,” said Lane. (See full article on National Lab Day from the ACS website)
Sam Matthews is the current Outreach Vice President for Y Chem, the local student chapter of the Central Utah Section of the ACS. Matthews and the Y Chem Presidency, including Aaron Pulsipher, Katie Andrus and David Selck, were heavily involved in planning and carrying out the National Lab Day activities. Drs. Scott Burt, Steven Goates, Merritt Andrus, and James Patterson all helped with the event along with approximately 20 other student volunteers.
The week before the event, members of Y Chem visited nearby schools and handed out flyers inviting students to take part in the event. Students in grades 5-12 were invited to participate. The Y Chem leaders only expected about 50 people to show up, but they were pleasantly surprised when close to 175 students and about 25 adults came to participate in the day’s events.
Y Chem Society president Aaron Pulsipher said the event is a great way to get younger kids enthusiastic about chemistry, and to get high school students to consider pursuing it as a major in college.
“I think it’s good for the kids to get hands on experience in a lab and learn for themselves,” said Pulsipher.
The students were split into different groups based on age. The 5-7 grade students did three experiments in one of the inorganic labs. The older groups made up of junior high and high school students participated in two experiments that were more involved. The high school students also had the opportunity to tour some of the labs, including the NMR lab, the laser lab and the inorganic chemistry lab.
By Cory Renshaw