FMU holds week-long chemistry celebration


Photo by: Caleb Reeves

The Chemistry Department hosts activities as part of the National Chemistry Week. Students participate in crystal ornament-making.

Jasmine Mitchell , Staff Writer

FMU students celebrated the 30th annual National Chemistry Week from Oct. 23-27. Each year, schools across the nation focus on a particular type of chemistry. This year’s theme is Chemistry Rocks with a focus on geochemistry. This area of chemistry focuses on rocks, including different types of rock crystallizations, diamond formations and rock dating. Each day of National Chemistry Week had a different activity for students.

On Mole Day, a mole mascot was on campus, handing out stuffed moles to celebrate. On Tuesday, the Chemistry Week webinar, in Leatherman Science Facility, was put together by the American Chemical Society (ACS). The national ACS worked with several sponsors to host the webinar, which included clips of scientific facts about geochemistry along with gemstone trivia in between clips. Those who watched and wanted to participate in the webinar were able to send questions through Twitter that were answered during the live Q&A. There was also pizza, soda and cookies provided for students.

On Wednesday, students were able to participate in a hands-on activity making crystal ornaments on the lawn. To make these ornaments, students made a concentrated solution of a one-half cup Borax and three cups boiled water. They let the solution crystalize overnight. On Thursday, though it was not part of the week’s celebration, the annual induction, which was led by faculty advisor Dr. Allen Clabo, took place for the Chemistry Honor Society. On Friday, students were able to end the week’s events by going bowling.

The Chemistry Department starts planning for Chemistry Week at the beginning of the semester. Chemistry professor Dr. Jennifer Kelley said she hopes students can take away something beneficial from chemistry week events.

“I guess to me, the thing is to have folks realize how many different facets chemistry affects,” Kelley said. “The real question might be, can you think of something that doesn’t involve chemistry? I’ve asked that question to classes in the past. There’s always some way to tie it back to chemistry. I think that’s the goal of National Chemistry Week, although we come at it from a different perspective each time. How can we get people to look at chemistry in a different, more positive way?”

The FMU chapter of ACS has earned the award of Outstanding Chapter multiple times. Junior Corbin Witt, who is pursuing an ACS-certified degree in chemistry, said he is excited about the progress made by the chapter on campus.

“The more you learn, the more you get to see that you can gradually start to explain more and more of what you’re seeing to others,” Witt said.