Outreach: Institute for Chemical Education

By John Moore
W. T. Lippincott Professor of Chemistry

Institute for Chemical Education photos
Institute for Chemical Education

The Institute for Chemical Education (ICE) continues its extensive outreach program under the direction of John Moore and with the contributions of Andrew Greenberg, Linda Craft, Elizabeth Moore, Laura Linde and several undergraduate student workers. We gratefully acknowledge the American Chemical Society Wisconsin Section, which supports science activities on Earth Day and National Chemistry Week, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County (B&GC), and the Millipore-Sigma Corporation, which provides scholarships for ChemCamps.

The major ICE activities are SCIENCountErs, a national program headed by UW–Madison that collaborates with Boys & Girls clubs to reach underrepresented groups; ChemCamps, whose unique program of hands-on science attracts middleschool children from as far away as either coast; distribution of science kits; Research Experiences for Undergraduates programs; and support of SPICE, a student group doing science outreach. Photos from several programs are included and this year we concentrate our report to our many Badger Chemist friends on the REU program.

Research Experience for Undergraduates

In 2017, ICE hosted four Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs and continued to organize the research exchange program with the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). Andrew Greenberg continued to serve as director of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center-supported Research Experience for Undergraduates in Nanotechnology program, the Research Experience for Undergraduates in Chemistry and Chemical and Biological Engineering, and the Research Experience for Undergraduates in the Chemistry of Materials for Renewable Energy. Joining the ICE cohort for summer 2017 were two students from Bob Hamers’s Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, two students from Gil Nathanson and Tim Bertram’s Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the Environment, and one student from John Berry’s Center for Selective C-H Functionalization. The REU programs participated in the Graduate School’s Summer Research Opportunities Program, a consortium of 15 summer research programs on the UW–Madison campus with common goal of increasing diversity of the graduate student pool.

SCIENCounters Map
SCIENCounters Map

Together the programs attracted 48 students from the United States, including Puerto Rico, and China to spend 10 weeks working on individual research projects in labs on the UW–Madison campus, 23 of them in the chemistry department. Faculty included John Berry, Tim Bertram, Thomas Brunold, Fleming Crim, Sam Gellman, Ive Hermans, Padma Gopalan, Bob Hamers, Song Jin, Clark Landis, Gil Nathanson, Joel Pedersen, Shannon Stahl, and Tehshik Yoon.

Activities for the summer include a weekly lunch seminar series including talks by chemistry faculty, staff, and students: Randy Goldsmith, Padma Gopalan, Andrew Greenberg, Ive Hermans, Song Jin, Bob McMahon, John Moore, and Gil Nathanson. Additional activities included an improv night, and special seminar on applying and surviving in graduate school hosted by graduate students. The summer culminated with a department wide poster session where students presented the results from their summer research.

The REU programs are funded through summer 2019 from a generous grant from the National Science Foundation. If you know of students who would benefit from participating in REU, please encourage them to apply.