Overall, both the activities and demonstrations went rather well.
We had to adjust the ratios of materials used to make Oobleck,
and synthesizing a proper product took up a significant amount of
time; however, the slime products were easy to make, and really
entertained the children. The calcium hydroxide solutions were a
bit messy at times, as solution was spilled due to forceful exhalations from enthusiastic volunteers.
Looking back on our activities, synthetic materials and longer-lasting experiments seemed to function best. When we do similar
demos in the future, we’ll make sure to obtain more materials in
Experience beyond the Expo
Another great aspect of the Expo overall was the freedom—
we were only constrained by our assigned times for the activities and demonstrations. After we completed our assigned time
slot, we were free to roam about the historic city of Washington, D.C. This was possible because Nancy had scheduled all of
the participating student groups in shifts, which left us ample
time to explore different monuments, museums, and other
locations at our leisure.
One of us had the pleasure of spending an entire day walking
around D.C., and was fortunate enough to visit the Washington
Monument, Lincoln Memorial, National Air and Space Museum,
National Museum of the American Indian, and the Petersen
House, where Abraham Lincoln was taken after he was mortally
wounded at Ford’s Theatre — again, all in one day. Whereas simi-
lar events might demand that one spend almost the entire time
working, the Expo was structured to split the duties among all
the participating groups, allowing free time to truly absorb
what the city has to offer.
Ultimately, participating in the USA Science and Engineering Festival and Expo was a fantastic, one-of-a-kind
experience that we would highly recommend to anyone.
The experience at the Expo was made even more memorable by receiving recognition packets from ACS for our
outreach efforts. The Expo was an incredible way to interact with a younger crowd and get others interested in
chemistry, while also getting the chance to explore such
an amazing city.
We returned home with new experiences, friends, and
memories— overjoyed at having had the opportunity to participate at Expo as representatives of both UF and ACS. From
the long 14-hour drives, to meeting fellow student representatives, to interacting with so many individuals, the experience certainly created some unforgettable memories.
With the Expo being such a successful and rewarding
experience, our chapter looks forward to sending more ACS
student members to participate in the future!
Ryan Quiñones is a senior chemistry
major at UF, where he is involved with
the UF student chapter and the Alpha
Chi Sigma Professional Chemistry
Lauren McCarthy is a junior at
UF, where she is majoring in chemistry and is the secretary of her
Kids who visited the UF booth had opportunities to make slime (pictured
above) and Oobleck and to participate in a “magic breath” activity.
UF chapter historian Latoy Waite designed our chapter logo, which was
featured on the UF banner at the Expo.