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UNI's American Chemical Society chapter recognized as outstanding by national organization

Posted on Friday, January 18th, 2019
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UNI NEWS SERVICES—A University of Northern Iowa student group has been recognized as outstanding for the third time by a national organization.

The UNI Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society received an outstanding award from the society – the highest of three distinctions awarded to student groups – for the 2017-18 academic year.

Halloween House
UNI chemistry students perform Halloween-themed science demonstrations for students and community members at the annual Halloween House event.

“The Outstanding award they have received from the ACS is a recognition that they are conducting a large number of well-run activities that are excelling in assisting students to prepare for careers as chemists and other related scientific careers, while helping them enjoy their time as students at UNI,” said Colin Weeks, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

The student chapter is perhaps best known for hosting its annual Halloween House, an event where UNI students perform Halloween-themed science demonstrations for all ages. Last year, the event was attended by about 1,200 students and community members.

The purpose of the student chapters is to foster the professional development of students and carry out service activities related to chemistry and education. The chapter organized group travel to the national meeting of the American Chemical Society to make presentations on the research they have done at UNI, as well as arrange visits to chemical-related companies and graduate schools in the region.

“The outstanding award from the ACS shows that the student chapter at UNI makes a large contribution to creating an environment that is an excellent place for students to prepare for careers in chemistry, biochemistry and related fields,” Weeks said. “The award is also evidence that the student chapter's activities are making substantial contributions to engaging K-12 students and developing their interest in and understanding of science.”

The student chapter also received outstanding awards in 2011-12 and 2012-13.