Chemistry and Biochemistry

Y-Chem Receives Award from ACS

Posted: Nov 14, 2013

The Y-Chem Society received its third consecutive Commendable award from the American Chemical Society.

Of the 367 student chapters that submitted reports, 85 received commendable mention awards. This is the second-highest chapter award given by the ACS. Awards are given based on chapter activities and programs put on throughout the year.

"We work hard during the year and put a lot of time into already busy schedules," Will Rankin, the current club president said. "It is always nice to receive recognition for all that we have done."

Being a part of Y-Chem provides opportunities for students to give back to the community as well as the department. The club also helps students to form friendships and get advice from older students and faculty advisors.

"I have had a successful undergraduate career because of the guidance and friends I have made through Y-Chem," Rankin said. "Being a part of Y-Chem allows me to help other underclassmen succeed in whatever their goals may be."

Dr. Scott Burt, Y-Chem's faculty advisor, has enjoyed being a part of that guidance. He says that getting to know the students is the best part of being involved. On road trips to ACS conferences, he and the students are able to discuss research, plans for graduate school and other related topics. After spending so much time working with the students, Dr. Burt knows how much work they've put into their activities.

"The commendable award reflects how active Y-Chem is in serving our community," Dr. Burt said. "They spend a lot of time on scientific outreach.

Here is a quick overview of some of Y-Chem's biggest activities each year:

Open Lab Day: Y-Chem hosts around 300 middle and high school students every spring for Open Lab Day. Tours of the BYU research labs are given and the students get to participate in lab experiments.

National Chemistry Week: During the Chemistry Magic shows put on throughout National Chemistry Week, the club sells liquid nitrogen ice cream to raise funds.

Meet Your Professor Night: Y-Chem hosts this event which allows students to me and get to know the professors they will be taking classes from.

Graduate School Preparation Night: The club puts together a panel of professors who answer questions about the process of applying for, choosing and getting into graduate school.

Magic Shows: Each year, Y-Chem travels to local schools and organizations to put on magic shows involving chemical reactions and experiments.


Audience members raise their hands to participate in a Chemistry Magic Show. 

By Ellen Westenhaver

Photos by Austin Gillett