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Dayton Section

Outreach Events for Middle School Students

We are engaged in a continuing effort aimed at engaging middle and high school students in the Greater Dayton Area from rural and urban school districts in Chemistry and Chemistry Related Activities.  By forming a partnership between the Dayton Section of the American Chemical Society, its affiliate universities and local school districts, a science based network is being created for these young learners to seed further science based inquiries in these students and connect individuals with an interest in science at all levels of education (middle/high school students, college-aged students, district educators, and university professors and researchers) from all backgrounds (urban, rural, low income and affluent) in engaging chemistry activities. 

In summer 2014, faculty from the Department of Natural Sciences at Central State University facilitated two separate outreach events with incoming and current middle school students from neighboring school districts.  A precipitation experiment was performed by students in groups of two which demonstrated the chemical reaction between the reactants of sodium bicarbonate and calcium chloride to form products.  One product was the solid precipitate known as calcium carbonate, while the other products were sodium chloride, water, and carbon dioxide.  By writing about the chemical reaction and the formation of a precipitate, these students gained experience writing about topics in chemistry.  Those middle schoolers with the top writing assignments from each event were awarded a Texas Instruments TI-36 scientific calculator as a prize based on their written hypotheses and conclusions about the chemistry activity. 

In the two years since program inception, approximately 130 young minds in the local Dayton area have been impacted by these outreach efforts.  The Dayton Section of the ACS is planning to continue these activities into the following year for a new series of students.  The Section seeks to expand the duration of its activity from a one day event to possibly a week long camp experience.

In addition to the use of funds provided by a sustaining innovative project grant (IPG) and external donations from local industry and academia, alternative grant avenues are being pursued to support these outreach efforts to inspire students in lower income areas of Dayton by supporting their secondary school with hands on learning activities of chemistry relevance.

For further information please contact Prof. Leanne Petry.