The anatomy of an
SOS Outreach Program
Preparation for each actual event begins one-and-a-half weeks prior
to the activity. This time allows for inventory recap, purchasing of materials and supplies, and an activity “run-through.”
11:05 -11: 20 am Wrap Up/Giveaways (All Students)
11: 25 –11:35 am Break
11:40 am – 12:00 pm Lunch
All food is provided, and the only requirement of the school is to
provide the students and the locale. All SOS program workshops are
to anticipate any difficulties that might arise.
By offering the
program, SOS and
the ACS TU student
chapter are hoping to
foster within children
a lifelong appreciation
of chemistry and its relevance to everyday life.
Ultimately, by exposing the students at a
young age to the different areas and professions of chemistry, more students will
aspire to attend college and ultimately
enter a field of chemistry.
SOS, Inc. was co-founded in 2006 by Pamela M. Leggett- Robinson, department chair of science and associate pro- fessor at Georgia Perimeter College-Dunwoody Campus;
Nichole Powell, assistant professor at TU; Albert E. Russell, assistant professor at TU; and Barbara Rackley, assistant professor and
advisor of the TU ACS student chapter.
SOS received an innovative project grant from ACS Auburn Local
Section, in both 2006 and 2007. The SOS program also received
donations from Publix, Target, Lowes Stores, Kimberly Clark.
Since its inception, SOS has expanded to incorporate hands-on
experiences for grades 9–12. In addition to providing the fundamental program, they also offer Girl and Boy Scout science badge
activity days, teacher workshops, and research experiences for
high school students and teachers.
To date, the program’s themes have included
polymer chemistry (milk plastic), •
optics (the color of light), •
acids and bases (food chemistry), •
insulation and static electricity (chemistry in the home), •
chromatography (what color is in my marker?), •
Newton’s laws (balloon rockets), •
Pascal’s law (balloon lifts), and •
solubility (edible crystals). •
So that more children can have an opportunity to experience
the program, SOS is seeking to expand its outreach efforts and to
form partnerships with other local sections in Georgia and other
ACS student chapters. To form these partnerships, local sections
with student chapters are asked to contribute a $3,000-3,500
per year for operating costs. ACS student members are simply
required to assist in developing activities for designated schools
and to participate in the fun!
For more information, please contact SOS at Pamela.Leggett-Robinson@gpc.edu or at 770-274-5077.
Share in the benefits
The children aren’t the only benefactors of this collaborative program.
Undergraduate chemistry majors gain
valuable exposure to the K– 12 education
system. The SOS program experience has
interested students in National Science
Foundation Graduate STEM Fellows in
K– 12 Education (GK– 12) programs.
Institutions with GK– 12 programs provide fellowships for graduate students to
work with the K– 12 system, acquiring
additional communication and interpersonal skills needed for professional and
scientific careers in the 21st century.
Tahirah Farrer-Bradley, a GK– 12 fellow
who graduated from TU, is also a former
ACS student member who developed
a love of working with children while
volunteering with the SOS program. She
discovered she had a talent for present-
ing science in a way that was understand-
able to children
of all age levels.
PAMELA M. LEGGETT-
ROBINSON is program director of
SOS and science department chair and
associate professor of chemistry at
Georgia Perimeter College-Dunwoody
Campus. NICHOLE POWELL is
curriculum specialist for SOS, and
assistant professor of chemistry at
Tuskegee University. ALBERT RUSSELL is legal and public relations consultant for SOS and assistant
professor of chemistry at Tuskegee University.