CAZACS Celebrates Earth Week

What a week! We learned all about the chemistry of our oceans with Chemists Celebrate Earth Week (CCEW). CCEW is a community-based program of the American Chemical Society that has been devoted to communicating the roles of chemistry in the world for 15 years!

CAZACS sponsored an event at the Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa on April 22nd, which included a chemistry demonstration that explored acid-base chemistry of the oceans, the importance of the hydrophobic effect for birds, and what a bioluminescence looks like! With help from Student Affiliates of the ACS from Arizona State University, we distributed free issues of this year’s Celebrating Chemistry to museum attendees.

We also performed chemistry demonstrations at a local schools in the Phoenix area. CAZACS volunteers interacted with more than 500 students at Sierra Linda High School and Betty H. Fairfax High School as we showed off how cool marine chemistry can be! We showed how starch packing peanuts are an environmentally-friendly packing material, talked about the properties of polymers, and explored the density of salt water and how it relates to estuaries. The luminol oxidation reaction showed students what bioluminescent reactions can look like under the ocean. CAZACS volunteers also talked about how and why they pursued careers in chemistry, and some of the rewards and struggles of going into STEM fields.

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We’ll be sure to look for some of these students at future ACS meetings!

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