CSMC/ChUME Collaborative LSAMP Bridge Outreach Program

Summary/Highlights (in bullet form)

  • Location: Linus Pauling Science Center Room 125, Oregon State University
  • Date & Time: September 14, 2015, 1-4 pm
  • CSMC Volunteers: Dylan Fast, Jacob Buchanan, Shawn Decker, Lindsay Wills
  • ChUME Volunteers: Shawn Decker, Lindsay Wills, Maduka Ogba, Kevin Snyder, Kyle Almlie, Nicholas Larkey, and Wesley Surta.
  • Event attendance: 70 people (in three groups of ~20-25)

For the second year, The Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry (CSMC) invited ChUME to collaborate and represent the physical sciences in the Bridge program for OSU’s chapter of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP). LSAMP’s goal is to introduce students from underrepresented groups to Oregon State University and the STEM programs on campus.

We hosted three sessions of 45 minutes for groups of approximately 20-25 students (15-20 incoming students, 3-5 LSAMP mentors). At each session, we briefly introduced ourselves, the CSMC and ChUME, and discussed mentoring opportunities within STEM fields. 

We launched each session with the Flaming Salts demo. This demo shows how different metal ions burn different colors. It was a good opener to get their interest piqued, and the students were interested in how this chemistry applies to fireworks. We followed with an interactive Drink Sharing demo. This demo uses small amounts of a chemical indicator to show how quckly germs can spread when sharing drinks. Students received glasses with water that they poured into each other’s glasses to combine. Two of the starting glasses were slightly basic (0.1 M NaOH), and the use of the indicator phenolphthalein at the end of the demo showed that 50-75% of the glasses were contaminated after sharing three times.

The students were asked to break into groups and visit graduate students running 4 smaller demos, learn about research in the department, and chat with the graduate students. We ended the event with with one final demo, the Screaming Gummy Bear. This is a flashy demo that shows how much energy there is in a gummy bear and has beautiful flashes of light as the gummy bear burns. We used a fume hood for this, for safety. While this demo doesn’t highlight research on campus, it is a good way to show how science applies to their every day lives. This event went really well, and the students seemed very engaged in each of the demos, asking insightful questions about each of the demos.

We would like to thank the volunteers: Dylan Fast (CSMC), Jacob Buchanan (CSMC), Shawn Decker (CSMC & ChUME), Lindsay Wills (CSMC & ChUME), Maduka Ogba (ChUME), Kevin Snyder (ChUME), Kyle Almlie (ChUME), Nicholas Larkey (ChUME), and Wesley Surta (ChUME).