Reaching and Educating America's Chemists of Tomorrow
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The REACT Outreach Program (originally Kids & Chemistry) began in Fall 2002. It has grown into the largest outreach program of its kind at UIUC and perhaps in the U.S. Each semester, the program visits every local school within a 30 mile radius of campus to work with third grade youngsters in hands-on activities in chemistry. The program also performs demonstration shows and visits local after-school facilities. Through the dedication and innovations of the undergraduate staff, the program continues to expand, delivering a variety of programs to many different facets of the communities in East Central Illinois.
Each semester, K&C visits the third-grade classrooms of every elementary school within a thirty mile radius of campus. The program sends groups of five UIUC students to each classroom to perform a lesson in hands-on science, complete with demonstrations. The topics vary by semester but are geared towards every-day chemistry at the elementary level. K&C requires UIUC students to train and practice before their classroom visit. UIUC students are also required to prepare materials for their trips.
The faculty advisor for the club chooses outstanding, veteran undergraduates of the program each year to participate in demonstration shows at local schools and after-school facilities. Once there, the demonstration team aids the advisor in performing an hour long show covering several topics which wow the audience. Past demonstration show sites include Montessori schools in Champaign, Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club, and fourth and fifth grade classrooms in local elementary schools.
K&C has been offered a permanent place in after-school science program curricula to continue the efforts of inspiring and spreading scientific literacy. In Fall 2005, K&C operated in partnership with Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club to bolster their science program for children. UIUC participants visited each week to deliver hands-on science lessons after-school. Currently, we are forming a partnership with The Girl Scouts of America to offer specifically designed activities in science education to local troops. In addition, UIUC participants will cooperate with the Orpheum Childrens Science Musuem in a partnership to innovate and create new programs within the musuems existing repertoire in 2006.
UIUC CHEM Family Nights
In Fall 2005, K&C hosted on-campus and off-campus sessions for families to do hands-on science together for an evening each month. During each event, UIUC participants in K&C lead these sessions, helped with activites and performed demonstrations. The response thus far has been amazing over 100 families have participated. In 2006, we hope to expand this successful program to other schools and community groups.
James Scholar Honors Credit
UIUC participants often opt to complete the K&C program for James Scholar Honors Credit. At present, students in CHEM 101, CHEM 102, CHEM 104, CHEM 232 and CHEM 332 may complete K&C for their honors project. In Fall 2005, this class list also included CHEM 202. In Spring 2006, this class list includes CHEM 204.
- Department of Chemistry
- School of Chemical Sciences
- St. Elmo Brady STEM Academy
- American Chemical Society Student Affiliates
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