On March 2nd and 3rd, the Grand Rapids Public Museum held a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Career Exploration Event and 23 students and 3 faculty members from GRCC’s Physical Science Department volunteered. GRCC was one of 24 area colleges, universities and companies represented at the event, which had the purpose of introducing area children and teens to careers in the STEM fields. On March 2nd over 800 middle and high school students from 10 different schools and on March 3rd over 1000 people from the community attended the event.
The GRCC students presented information on Careers in Polymer Science. The students, who are earning service learning credit, readied for the event by researching the synthesis, history and industrial uses of different polymers. They prepared posters with information about the polymers and made video presentations showing how the polymers were synthesized. The posters and videos were displayed and shown at the museum event.
While at the event, the GRCC students demonstrated their polymer synthesis skills to attendees and helped attendees make their own ‘slime’ and ‘silly putty’ polymers. The students did a great job in explaining the uses and importance of polymers in our daily lives. Further, this event was a great opportunity for the science students to meet and talk with representatives from companies like Perrigo, Amway and Gentex who hire scientists and engineers.
The students who participated from CHM 298 (Independent Study with Tom Neils) were Sean Stevens, Katherine Worth, Jamie Grit, Calvin Porter, Alyssa Nyenhuis, Lindsey Bigney, Jacob Patin, and Jahanzaib Nadeem. Volunteers Mercelle Ingham, Ryan Stampo and Chris Carter are in CHM 240 (Survey of Organic Chemistry with Linda Bramble). Volunteers James Ayers, Carly Greenhoe, Lanora Herrema, Ronald Kamgang, Austin Williams, Gerard Loranger, Long Tong, Samantha Gamble, Genevieve Colter, Dan Slaktoski, Brad Tait and Leslie Bileth are in CHM 271 (Organic Chemistry II lab with Jennifer Batten).
Thank you to Klaas Kwant and Hannah Prill for filming and editing the student demonstration videos. These videos will soon be linked to the Physical Science website. Thank you also to Pam Scott and Leah Van Hartesveldt for their help in ordering supplies and preparing solutions for the event and to Sandy Andrews for her help with setting up service learning course designations on CHM 240, CHM 271 and CHM 298.