Service Throughout Indianapolis & Lafayette
As Chemists we strive to add to the pool of scientific knowledge through research; however, an individual can only add so much in their lifetime. A chemist can make their greatest impact through the teaching and the inspiration of others. Our Fraternities most fundamental goal is inspire people of all ages into pursuing the chemical sciences, so that they too may one day add to the pool of knowledge.
Imagination Station is a community science center located in Lafayette, IN. They hold numerous events throughout the year, and our chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma gets to be a part of these events. We have planned our own events for the center, such as Chemistry night based on Halloween or Valentine's Day, as well as volunteering to be a part of larger events. Activities over the years have included exploding pumpkins, mummifying apples, love potion color changing reaction, giant's toothpaste, and playing with carbon dioxide bubbles. Every new event gives an opportunity to teach children and adults in the community how to love chemistry.
College Mentor for Kids Demonstrations
College Mentors for Kids is an organization that pairs children in area middle schools with college students for the day. Their days are packed with many activities and things to explore around the campus, and sometimes doing demonstrations with us is a part of that day. In the past, we've done one larger experiment, and multiple smaller experiments. The large experiment consisted of watching ice melt with and without salt. It seems pretty boring, but we were able to spend the time teaching the children the important chemical concepts behind the process that was happening right in front of their eyes. Other activities have also included a density experiment with honey, soap, water, and oil, fashioning bouncy balls out of polymers, writing secret messages on paper and revealing them with heat, and making personalized lava lamps. This event gives us the ability to work with the children as well as the mentors in teaching new science concepts.
Celebrate Science Indiana
Celebrate Science Indiana is an annual festival that takes place in Indianapolis. As the name suggests, it is a festival that aims to celebrate and highlight how important science and especially STEM is in education, as well as engaging Hoosiers of all ages in science related activities. This festival consists of around 50 booths run by a variety of science organizations from around the state. Our chapter has assisted other organizations from Purdue, such as ACS Student Associates, in running experiments that included carbon dioxide bubbles, cartesian divers, making bouncy balls, and creating polymers from sodium alginate and calcium chloride.
Science Olympiad is a national science competition that takes place between middle school and high school students. There are many different events that encompass various areas of science, such as chemistry, robotics, food science, biology, and forensics. Students start competing at the local level and advance on up to the national level if they score well enough on their various exams and hands on events. As volunteers, we help run the events, helping the kids with the directions of what the event entails, as well as setting up events, and scoring and totaling events and exams to report who is the top in their events.
Science Fair Judging
Throughout the year, there are numerous Science Fairs going on in the Lafayette and West Lafayette community. Often times, these events reach out for volunteers from the Purdue community, especially students in areas such as Chemistry and Biology. Based on these needs, we are able to have our members volunteer to help judge and grade projects in the areas that they are interested in and feel comfortable doing. We have done numerous of these, and our members always enjoy seeing the creative things the next generation of scientists are coming up with.
National Chemistry Week
National Chemistry Week is a week dedicated to introducing the Lafayette and West Lafayette community students to the joys of Chemistry. This event is organized by the Purdue chapter of Iota Sigma Pi with the help of many volunteers throughout the Purdue chemistry community. Our organization helps most years, being involved in both the preparation and the actual week of activities. The preparation is normally done the week before, and helps to gather all the supplies into bags that are given to volunteers when they head out to each classroom. Two volunteers are together assigned one classroom, with the grade and school being different for every person.
"Chemistry Day" - Children's Museum of Indianapolis
During this event, a variety of chemistry related organizations had volunteers who hosted booths focused on the National Chemistry Week theme: Solving Mysteries with Chemistry. We paired with the Purdue American Chemical Society chapter. The booth received 450 visitors over the course of the day, and reached an audience of all ages. The booth showcased kid friendly chemistry demonstrations that were related to the forensics theme. These demonstrations included carbon dioxide bubbles, GoldenRod acid/base sensitive paper, polymers from sodium alginate and calcium chloride, and borax bouncy balls.
Relay For Life
Every year, many organizations throughout Purdue come together to help father donations to fight cancer. This event is all night, and there must be someone from each booth walking the whole event. Those who are not walking are participating in other activities or running their booths. In previous years, we have partnered with the local American Chemical Society chapter to have a booth dedicated to Chemistry.