Kalamazoo Section of the American Chemical Society

We are a dynamic and visionary organization committed to improving people’s lives in our community through the transforming power of chemistry.  We strive to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Kalamazoo, Allegan and Van Buren counties.

National Chemistry Week - Chemistry Day at the Museum

Saturday 17 October 2015

This event has already taken place. For a list of upcoming events, see our events page.

Kalamazoo Valley Museum
12:00 - 16:00

29th National Chemistry Week Report

By Lydia E.M. Hines (photos by Elena Hines)

Once again, cold weather arrived early in Kalamazoo, Michigan, just in time for our much-anticipated National Chemistry Week (NCW) hands-on-chemistry outreach to our community! It was a good opportunity to stay indoors, so 1000 patrons (children and families) visited our chemistry-themed activities in our area’s two-storey museum and the Volcano demonstration outside the building, on Saturday, October 17, 2015, from noon to 4 pm. Our long-time partner, the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, diligently added extensive publicity in the print media (5 venues), in 2 TV shows, and on several FM and AM radio programs to our online flyers sent to schools, libraries and other targeted audience groups.

Among our visitors were one family from Grand Rapids who heard the ad on TV :), two large Girl Scout groups and several area teachers who eagerly took ACS's American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) information, as well as home-schooling families, who were delighted with all the age-appropriate information we had available for them - Celebrating Chemistry and ChemMatters.

As in other years, enthusiasm among both KACS members and other volunteers continued to build as the event neared, and our accommodating colleague at the Museum, Mrs. Annette Hoppenworth, expertly fit in 80 volunteers presenting 25 activities. “Worker bees” for the duration of the event included many High School students, undergraduates and graduate students, local industry representatives, college and university faculty and others who just enjoy seeing the excitement registered on visitors’ faces each year.

Sincere appreciation is extended to each one who made this event another HUGE success.

Note: What follows is a story about how our Section's programs work hand in hand to continue giving: Readers should be aware of our Local section's 33-year history of administering a Competitive Exam followed by an Awards Program; well, as I was looking over the names of the High School young people who, over the past several years, have been given awards by our Section for their exemplary performance on our Competitive Examination, I came across four names that sounded very familiar because they appeared on the list of volunteers at our 2015 Chemistry Day – one was that of Sarah Glass, a 2013 awardee, a graduate of Wayland (MI) High School, and the other 3 were Hannah McQueen, Josiah Turpin, and Chris Vennard, 2015 awardees. Sarah is now studying chemistry at Kalamazoo College and is one of the leaders of the Chemistry club on that campus; as such she has been instrumental in organizing and enlisting a group of her fellow students to present activities at our Chemistry Day at the Museum both this year and last. The other three are 2015 awardees and continue as students at Gull Lake High School. It is exciting to see these young people enthusiastically participating in an activity that shares the importance and fun of chemistry with the younger generation.

elephant toothpaste

Elephant toothpaste


elephant toothpaste

“UV-sensitive polish on my nails, collecting my goodies.”

Green slime

Dear friends, colleagues and fellow-members of the ACS:

National Chemistry Week (NCW) is coming up soon! Please join the fun!

NCW will be celebrated this year during the week of October 18-24, and its theme this year is "Chemistry Colors Our World!" exploring the chemistry of dyes, pigments, and light. The Kalamazoo Section's largest and most extensive annual outreach to the community is our Chemistry Day at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum (KVM) on October 17, from 12 to 4 pm. During the Chemistry Day event, our members and friends spend 4 hours on a Saturday afternoon presenting chemistry-related hands-on activities to many young people and their families who come to visit the museum and to learn about the joys and impacts of chemistry and its usefulness. Many visitors will receive materials to take home and read, do and share with their parents, teachers and friends. Annette Hoppenworth and her staff at the KVM work hard to assure the success of this outreach event, and their commitment is critical to the event's success.

Dr. Lydia M. Hines has stepped down, after 27(!) years of tireless service, as our local coordinator for NCW. Dr. John B. Miller will be taking over the reins. Please contact him to let him know what activity you would like to present at 269-387-2871 or john.b.miller@wmich.edu. There is a modest budget for the event, so if you will need assistance with purchase of materials inform John of the need and the approximate expense when you contact him.

Thank you for helping youth get excited about Chemistry!