Stern Chemistry Club Awarded American Chemical Society Grant

Community Interaction Grant Will Fund Outreach Work With Local Public School Students

For the eighth time since 2009, the Stern College Chemistry Club has been awarded a Community Interaction Grant Student Chapter Award by the American Chemical Society.

The club’s proposed outreach activity, leading chemistry workshops for elementary students at the Henrietta Szold School (PS 134) on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, will be funded by the award and a matching grant from Stern College. Beginning in the coming spring semester, the Club’s project, “Pigments and Colors,” will offer Szold students themed activities such as making paint and creating a lava lamp or stained glass windows.

Sara Leora Wiener
Sara Leora Wiener, co-president of the Stern College Chemistry Club, which was recently awarded a Community Interaction Grant to lead engaging science workshops for local public school children.

Stern students chose the colors theme because “it seemed like the perfect way to introduce chemistry in a fun and engaging way,” said Alynn Azouly and Sara Leora Wiener, club co-presidents. “The goal is to improve the science-learning experience of minority children through community interactions and projects,” said Dr. Donald Estes, the club’s faculty mentor and senior laboratory instructional specialist at Stern.

The classroom activities enable Stern students to provide that kind of memorable experience to a young audience, while also gaining valuable teaching and administrative education skills. “These opportunities provide our students with invaluable experience in proposal writing, budget allocation and grant reporting activities,” said Estes.

“Writing the grant was an interesting process,” according to Azouly and Wiener. “We looked at different possible experiments that could be implemented in a classroom setting. As our community outreach program involves younger children, that was our primary focus. We also found that this theme would be exciting for our peers at Stern, as we could have a paint night and other activities that would appeal to them as well. In the grant proposal writing, we read past proposals to understand the process and the various details that needed to be included. Dr. Estes was immensely helpful throughout this process.”

Stern College Chemistry Club’s continued success with ACS grants, Estes says, “is a testament to the caliber, work ethic, passion, and drive of our students.”