The Seton Hall chapter of the American Chemical Society hosted its kickoff event where members created lava lamps and learned about the organization on Sept. 20.
The organization encourages the exploration of chemistry in new and innovative ways. Radha Patel, a senior biochemistry major and president of the club, said the goal of ACS is to promote the social and professional development of its members.
“We want to help students understand that they have a relationship with chemistry and that chemistry is not all about just doing reactions,” Patel said. “It is also about forging relationships with your peers, colleagues, professors, and members of the industry…learning how you can transform the world through the powers of chemistry.”
The event consisted of a hands-on experiment in which members crafted their own lava lamps.
Sophia Almeida, a junior biology major, said students were prompted to choose from a variety of colored dyes and glitters to get the ultimate do-it-yourself experience.
She said the process involves putting “more oil than water in a vial and then a dye of whatever color you want.”
“You could put glitter as well to make it more fun, along with an Alka Seltzer tablet and shake it,” Almeida said. “Then you could use a light source such as the flashlight from your phone and hold it up to get the lava lamp experience.”
Patel said ACS wants to encourage more hands-on chemistry experiments like the DIY lava lamps as well as other types of events. She said this includes an alumni internship guest panel, ChemExpo in October and research showcase in November.
Patel said ACS intends to promote green chemistry, a sustainability effort that is highly emphasized both within and outside of the classroom.
“ACS is big on green chemistry,” Patel said. “Part of the green chemistry initiative is using nontoxic chemicals for the environment, so everything we did in the lava lamp experiment was environmentally safe and biodegradable. It is all just nontoxic and sustainable chemistry reagents.”
Secretary of ACS, Shaan Patel, a senior biochemistry major, said the organization values community and hosting events that everyone can enjoy.
“ACS is a great way to build community among all science majors and create a sense of cohesion,” Patel said.
He added that he hopes to prove ACS is not just focused on academics as a student organization.
“We want to provide relief from their schoolwork by presenting a lighthearted activity or demo which shows a fun aspect of chemistry,” Patel said.
Thaiba Sherwani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org