Battle of the Chem Clubs
The Benefits of Developing Inter-Chapter Relations
BY ROBERT HEATON
ACS has developed the new Student Inter-Chapter Relations Grant program for student chapters, which provides $500 to support activities involving two or more chapters — and $750 for collabora- tions that also involve an ACS local section. The
grant can be used to fund a wide variety of activities, including:
• Networking events with graduate students or others
further along in their careers
• Chemistry outreach demonstrations to the public
• National Chemistry Week, Chemists Celebrate Earth
Day, and National Lab Day events
• Local science or community fairs
• Inter-chapter competitions with a chemistry theme.
The new grant was developed because partnering with other
ACS student chapters offers major benefits. This type of collaboration often spurs new ideas for programs and events, a larger
pool of potential volunteers, and a wider perspective that comes
from increased involvement with more ACS student members.
Not only are these partnerships invigorating, they also allow
chapters to participate in projects that they might not have the
resources to do on their own.
An example of one of the most successful ACS inter-chapter
partnerships is the Battle of the Chemistry Clubs, an event
that first took place on a cold November day in 2007. Initi-
ated by students
and faculty from
the University of
Detroit Mercy and the
University of Michigan-
Flint (UMF), the competition
has since grown to include
12 ACS student chapters from
across Michigan and Ohio, and the
Michigan State University Younger Chemists Committee is
now responsible for organizing and planning the event.
An evolving annual event
What began as an undergraduate social event to promote interclub relations and spur a friendly competition for the coveted
Silver Sep Funnel trophy has since evolved into an invaluable
networking opportunity between undergraduate and graduate
students. “Our chapter looks forward to this event every year,”
explains Robert Heaton, a UMF team member. During this much-anticipated annual event, chapters take pride in showing off
their school spirit and embrace the geek factor of the event by
donning chemistry-themed team T-shirts. Heaton adds, “Battle
of the Chem Clubs strengthens the relationships and team spirit
between our own chapter members, and also helps us connect
with other student chapters.”
The University of Detroit Mercy team reacts under the strain of the competition
in Lansing, MI.
The University of Detroit Mercy team works on one of the chal-
lenges outside the lab.