Recent Outreach Activities

2013

UNF SPRING ADMISSIONS OPEN HOUSE:  The Chemistry Department was represented by Dr. Robert Stern and Dr. Christos Lampropoulos at the UNF Spring Admissions Open House which was held on Saturday, February 23, at the Student Union .  Sixstudents and their families took a thirty-five minute tour of the Chemistry Department as a result of consultations with our professors.

 

EXPANDING YOUR HORIZONS CONFERENCE: Dr. David Nyquist led the Parents Workshop at the Expanding Your Horizons Conference, a gathering dedicated to assisting students and families decide the direction of their university careers.  The conference was held at the Adam W. Herbert  University Center on Saturday, February 23rd .

 

JACKSONVILLE COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL:  Dr. David Nyquist coordinated the vinegar neutralization titration experiments of number of 5th graders at the Jacksonville Country Day School on Thursda,y February 7th.

 

NORTHEAST FLORIDA REGIONAL SCIENCE & ENGINEERING FAIR:  This year the Northeast Florida Regional Science & Engineering Fair took place at the Morocco Shrine in Jacksonville.  Dr. T.J. Mullen, Dr. Michael Lufaso and Dr. David Nyquist assisted in the officiating on Monday, February 11th

 

HARRY KROTO VISITS UNF:  Nobel Laureate, Dr. Sir Harry Kroto was invited to UNF to give a talk at a beginning chemistry lecture while in Jacksonville on October 15th.  Ms. Stephanie Benton and others assisted Dr. Shoumen Datta, a visiting assistant professor in the Chemistry Depratment, in providing the venue for Dr. Kroto's talk; the lecture hall at Science & Engineering was packed.  Dr. Kroto received the 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry along with two others, Dr. Richard E. Smalley (dec.) and Dr. Robert F. Curl, Jr. These gentlemen are credited with the discovery of buckminsterfullerene (the renowned "buckyball")  a spherical  arrangement of 60 carbon atoms. 

 

BOY SCOUTS TOUR CHEMISTRY: On the evening of October 15th, six Boy Scouts and their leader, Dr. Carl Bilgrien of Arizona Chemicals, and several accompanying adults came for an evening visit to the Chemistry Department.  The tour facilities included stops at several teaching labs, the instrument room, and included a demonstration of metal activity series:  Fe (an iron nail immersed in) an aqueous copper (II) sulfate solution.  Research posters that line the hallways demonstrate the broad range of interest our students take in many different research areas; these were also the subject of lively discussion.   During their tour, they were able to speak with Dr. Christos Lampropoulos, an active researcher on the faculty, about the benefits of a chemistry career.  These young men are completing the final steps on their way to becoming Eagle Scouts. 

 

2012 UNF OPEN HOUSE:  The 2012 UNF Open House was held on Saturday, September 29.  Chemistry’s table at this event was “manned” by Melissa Bush, Bob Stern, and David Nyquist.  Although Chemistry did speak with a flurry of visitors during the event, overall attendance was disappointingly low.  In spite of the low numbers at this year’s event, we look forward to better things next year. 

2012

THE HARVEST COMMUNITY SCHOOL:  On April 4th, Melissa Bush, a popular Laboratory Lecturer in the Chemistry Department , led ten students from the Harvest Community School in a number of lab experiments in consumer chemistry.    The students were accompanied by their teacher who is an UNF alumna.

 

SPRING ADMISSIONS OPEN HOUSE: Dr. Bob Stern and several chemistry majors and ACS club members volunteered to represent Chemistry at this event held on March 24th in the Student Union Ballroom. The event was well attended and we sincerely hope that one of those potential students becomes a future Chemistry major.

 

EXPLORE-A-MAJOR FAIR: The Chemistry Department once more participated in the Explore-A-Major Fair sponsored by UNF’s Career Services and the Academic Center for Excellence on March 6th. We were well represented by Melissa Bush, and David Nyquist. The event was held in the UNF Student Union Ballrooms in Bldg 58W and the Osprey Plaza. 

 

NORTHEAST FLORIDA REGIONAL SCIENCE & ENGINEERING FAIR:  On Monday, February 13th, Dr. David Nyquist and Dr. Michael Lufaso were among the judges at this regional science fair.  They were impressed by the professionalism displayed by some of the participants as well as the caliber of the projects presented.  Several other members of the Chemistry Department faculty participated in support of individual participants. 

 

EXPANDING YOUR HORIZONS CONFERENCE: Once again Chemistry has participated in the North Florida Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) Conference held February 11th at UNF’s University Center and again was sponsored in part by VISTACON.  Members of the Chemistry Club assisted Dr. David Nyquist and Melissa Bush in manning the booth for us.  This event is aimed at young girls in middle school (grades 6 through 8) and their parents in the local area to encourage the girls to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. This age group is particularly sensitive to various peer and social pressures and boys start pulling ahead of girls. Programs like EYH can bolster the girls’ self image and keep them interested in STEM courses and careers which is of particular interest to the Governor of Florida.  

 

BISHOP KENNY HIGH SCHOOL:  Two high school students were assisted in development of an environmental experiment testing for the phyto-remediation abilities of several plant species.  Melissa Bush oversaw their bench work as they developed their project which was submitted to the high school's science fair in January. 

2011

WINDEMERE PREPRARATORY: On Wednesday, May 11th, high school students from a private preparatory school, Windermere Preparatory Academy (WPA), visited UNF with a specific interest in our chemistry department. Of all the Florida higher education institutions their teachers were able to identify UNF, via the Chemistry website, as a welcoming place to visit. Forty seven sophomores toured the campus, listened to a lecture, and performed a lab directed by Dr. Rick Troendle. There were also twenty seven juniors who toured and then performed a lab directed by Dr. Dave Nyquist. WPA offers an international baccalaureate program and this was reflected in the diverse nationalities present. The students were excited, engaged, and communicative. We look forward to them visiting, all the way from Orlando, in the future.

 

ENGLEWOOD HIGH SCHOOL: On April 18th, nineteen high school students from Englewood High School visited UNF. Melissa Bush, assisted by David Nyquist and two Englewood teachers, instructed the students on proper techniques for acquiring surface water samples for environmental analysis. The group field-tested for various parameters in samples collected from the water reclamation pond by the UNF golf course. The event was successful and quite exciting as a Cooper’s hawk repeatedly tried to snatch blue-winged teal ducklings from the pond while we were there. No ducklings were nabbed! We hope to do this project again in the future. Maybe the hawk will reprise its role, too.

 

INTERNATIONAL CHEMISTRY OLYMPIAD: On April 16th, high school students from the five-county area participated in the first-round International Chemistry Olympiad competition which was held here at UNF. The all-day competition consisted of written examinations and a laboratory practical. While this is an American Chemical Society-Jacksonville section sponsored activity, it is noteworthy that Melissa Bush, John Pechonick, and Jennifer Bryant from the Chemistry Department volunteered to help with this outreach project for high school students who have a strong interest in chemistry.

 

EXPLORE-A-MAJOR FAIR: The Chemistry Department participated in the Explore-A-Major Fair sponsored by UNF’s Career Services and the Academic Center for Excellence on March 24th. We were well represented by Melissa Bush, Jennifer Bryant, and David Nyquist. The Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce was a co-sponsor of the event which was held in the UNF Student Union Ballrooms and the Osprey Plaza.

 

EXPANDING YOUR HORIZONS CONFERENCE: The North Florida Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) Conference was held February 26th at UNF’s University Center and was sponsored in part by VISTACON. VISTAKON, our co-sponsor, had a booth as did Duval County School District. The purpose of EYH is to encourage middle-school girls in grades 6 through 8 to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. This age group is particularly sensitive to various peer and social pressures and boys start pulling ahead of girls. Programs like EYH can bolster the girls’ self image and keep them interested in STEM courses and careers. Two electrical engineering graduates were on hand to help inspire the students: Megan Clementi, Miss Florida USA 2010, and Janet McCulloh, Mrs. Florida America 2009.

 

There were several participants from the Department of Chemistry. Jennifer Bryant, Melissa Bush, and Dave Nyquist worked many hours over the last eight months to plan and help implement this conference. As well Jennifer Bryant and Melissa Bush ran workshops for the girls and Dave Nyquist conducted the parent’s workshop. Radha Pyati graciously served as career panelist. UNF gallery participants were COAS, Computing and Engineering, Math, and Chemistry. We owe an enormous amount to VISTAKON/J&J for doing a great deal in promoting and staging the event. In particular Dr. Vrushali Korde was our “star”. One hundred fifteen girls and forty three parents registered for the conference. Our cap was reached very quickly but there are plans to expand next year. Wish us luck.

 

NE REGION FLORIDA SCIENCE & ENGINEERING FAIR:  On February 7th, Dr. Philip Davis, Dr. Michael Lufaso, and Dr. David Nyquist were judges at the Northeast Region Florida Science and Engineering fair held at the Morocco Shrine Hall in Jacksonville.

 

JW JOHNSON MIDDLE SCHOOL: On January 6th, Dr. Jyotsna Pradhan participated as a judge at the science fair held at James Weldon Johnson College Preparatory Middle School in Jacksonville.