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Department ofChemistry and Biochemistry


Chem Club 2017

Hello to all current and former members of the award winning SCU Chem Club!  Yes, we once again won a Commendable Chapter Award from the ACS.  This is the 24th consecutive Chapter award from the ACS so we must be doing something right!  In April we will present a poster at the Successful Chapter session at the ACS meeting in San Francisco.  Here is a little information on what we have been up to lately. 

In the fall we partnered with the local section of the ACS and the SJSU Student Member Chapter to host the annual hands-on science demonstration event at the Martin Luther King Library in San Jose.  This event featured a half-dozen demonstrations developed using the National Chemistry Week theme of “solving mysteries with chemistry”.  Experiments included “dusting for fingerprints” using cocoa powder, a “fruit juice sleuth” experiment investigating the pH of different fruit juices, a “mystery messages” experiment using colored paper to reveal a message painted on the paper with turmeric (which contains a pH-sensitive color-changing ingredient, curcumin), and an experiment to test for the presence of UV radiation using UV-sensitive color-changing beads.  It was a lot of fun.  This year we recruited volunteers from the upper division Biochemistry I course—we had over 30 students volunteer to help out.  It was a great event and it was especially fun to have the chance to serve the community and to meet Student Members from the SJSU Chapter!

We also participated in research-related activities this past year, meeting with numerous seminar speakers (and hosting lots and lots of munchies for the seminars!).  One of our most popular educational activities, a research panel, was recently folded into the Chemistry 15 Introduction to Research course. In this event, experienced upper division students talked to lower division students about their experiences with regard to finding a research lab and in conducting undergraduate research.  We also hosted several webinars, taking advantage of the wealth of archived webinars available from the ACS; the webinar on the chemistry of brewing and beer was well received and we plan on continuing this activity in the future.  In the spring we attended the annual Northern California Undergraduate Research Symposium held at St. Mary’s College in Moraga; club members gave oral and poster presentations on a wide range of topics.  We are looking forward to the 2017 event at SJSU.

It wouldn’t be Chem Club if we didn’t host lots of food-related activities!  This year we trusted our tried-and-true activities such as the Thanksgiving “TRP for Turkey” sandwich party, a Pi (P) day social, ice cream socials, and the usual Pizza parties.  We also had a Valentine’s party where we made valentines for the faculty and staff and distributed them on Valentine’s Day as a way of saying thanks to all of these amazing people who support us all year long.