However, hot dog lovers might not have realized that the sales of hot dogs and related items by the IUP American Chemical Society student chapter is creating great opportunities for chemistry education.
Each year, the IUP student chapter--which was recently recognized by the national American Chemical Society as an Outstanding Student Chapter--donates $1,000 to area high school chemistry programs to promote science education and to interest students in studying chemistry. And, not only do the students and their advisor, Nathan McElroy, make the donation on site, they do "cool" chemistry experiments--complete with goggles, beakers, and foamy or "steaming" liquids.
Want to see them in action?
Seven IUP students and faculty member Justin Fair will be continuing their outreach efforts at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh on Saturday, October 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The program is free to those who pay admission to the center and open to all. So, if you've wondered what fluoride REALLY does to tooth enamel or how breakfast cereals are fortified with iron, here's your chance to find out.
In addition to the fund-raising efforts, the students do free chemistry tutoring four nights a week for IUP students and do demonstrations throughout the community at local science fairs and recruiting events. All of these efforts have resulted in four national awards for excellence, counting this last recognition.
On Monday, the students will celebrate Mole Day. No, not the little squinty-eyed rodent, the basic measuring unit in chemistry, Avogadro's number (6.02 x 1023), with a bake sale at Weyandt Hall. Not to ruin the surprise, but I hear there will be cupcakes with atomic symbols. I won't have a clue about the symbols, but a cupcake with icing can NEVER be wrong.
Dr. McElroy has an unusual understanding of the IUP Department of Chemistry--he is a very proud IUP Chemistry graduate!
But, he gives all the credit for the chapter's success to the students.
"The Outstanding Chapter Award by the national ACS is a great honor for the club. I couldn't be more proud of these students and of the exceptional work that they do for the department, the university, and the local community."