The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry endeavors to advance education and professional development in the chemical sciences through community outreach efforts and strategic partnerships. Here are some examples of current initiatives.
Kids and Chemistry
Senior Lecturer Lenea Stocker implemented the first annual “Kids and Chemistry Demonstration Day: Advancing Chemistry Appreciation Using Chemical Demonstrations” in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Maryland on May 23, 2018.
This innovative outreach program was targeted toward elementary school students to foster STEM appreciation at an early age. Students toured the laboratory facilities in the department, engaged in chemistry-themed activities, and watched an engaging chemical demonstrations show performed by Dr. Stocker.
Chemathon is an annual chemistry competition for high school chemistry students in Maryland and the District of Columbia. The Chemathon competition is organized by a committee of area high school chemistry teachers and chemists, and is hosted by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Maryland at College Park. More than 500 high school students and their teachers participate in this event.
Maryland Science Olympiad
Maryland Science Olympiad is devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers. The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry hosts the Central Maryland Tournament, where more than 300 K-12 Maryland students compete on their school teams in “hands-on” activities in chemistry, life science, earth and space science and physics. Chemistry events take place in the instructional chemistry laboratories.
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry undergraduates and faculty are actively participating in the Terrapin Teachers Program, with a goal of increasing the number of qualified chemistry teachers. Our Terp Teacher majors complete their degrees in chemistry and biochemistry, while gaining training and class-room teaching experience in public schools.
Mentored by Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry faculty and their school classroom teachers teachers, our majors present full lessons in science and math at elementary and middle schools in Prince George’s County. In their final semester in the Terp Teacher program, they teach in the classroom every day. This program deepens the education of our majors, enriches STEM education in our local schools, and develops new teachers for the State of Maryland.
Our ACS Student Chapter, advised by Professor Efrain Rodriguez, developed a chemistry tutoring program with neighboring Northwestern High School. The program combined one-on-one tutoring with chemistry demonstrations, to make chemistry come alive for high school students. A college information meeting for the parents, led by Prof. Rodriguez, helped students and their families plan for college.
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry showcases the many exciting applications of chemistry at Maryland Day, the University of Maryland’s annual “open house” each spring.
Highlights include: A Chemathon competition highlighting past and future developments in chemistry, Chemistry Fun for Kids of All Ages and Chemistry Magic.
Watch our 2021 Virtual Maryland Day video where kids made lava lamps using ingredients found at home.