By Tricia Duke '19
The Knox chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS), more commonly known as the Knox Chemistry Club, earned a “Commendable” award from ACS, the world’s largest scientific society.
The American Chemical Society recognizes about 60 chapters a year as “Outstanding,” about 90 as “Commendable,” and about 150 as “Honorable Mentions.” The Knox Chemistry club has earned recognition in these categories for a number of years.
Jim Huang '19, secretary for the Chemistry Club, said he was proud to continue the club’s winning streak. Huang attributed a large part of the club’s success to the willingness of its members to serve the community.
“The best thing that Chem Club does is serve the community, of course,” Huang said. “With Nielson Elementary School, and with the kids at the Discovery Depot Children’s Museum, we want to share the coolness of chemistry. We prepare demonstrations for them so they can experience how chemistry and science happen.”
Sam Hernandez '20, co-president of the Chemistry Club, agreed with Huang, adding that the club also forms relationships with the Knox student community. He described two events that encourage collaboration across all the sciences: SMC-Down, run by the Engineering Club, and the SMC Olympics, hosted by the Chemistry Club.
“We also promote career development in our club,” Hernandez said, explaining that the Chemistry Club raises money for science students to attend conferences and begin to build their post-college careers.
Hernandez and Huang both said that a significant portion of the club’s effect is education on chemistry and what it can offer society, which fits right in line with the ACS mission statement to “advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners, for the benefit of Earth and its people.”
Huang fondly remembered the most recent “Science Night” at Nielson Elementary, where he watched kids and their families get excited about bottle rockets.
“The thing about chemistry demos is nothing goes according to plan,” he said, smiling. “But we can inspire the next generation.”