Sophomores in Ms. Genevieve Fein and Dr. Rebecca Sen’s ChemClub put Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart on the world map – the Global Water Experiment Map. The American Chemical Society (ACS) ChemClub is a high school chemistry club that provides students with a unique opportunity to experience chemistry beyond the classroom.
As part of the International Year of Chemistry 2011 (IYC), so designated by the United Nations, O. Caporizzo ’14, P. Carroll ’14, and C. Donovan ’14 measured acidity and other properties of the Charles River and another twenty water sources from across the country and posted them to the IYC global water map. Organizers, including the ACS, hope this will become the world’s biggest chemistry experiment ever, as students, scouts, and community groups from many nations study their local water sources and post the data to the interactive, global map.
“This was a wonderful experience for our students,” said Ms. Fein. “They enjoyed applying chemistry to a real world situation and learning about the importance of clean water for people throughout the world.”
In addition to their weekly meetings, the Newton Country Day ChemClub shares their enthusiasm for scientific experimentation with a younger population. Each year they design and present a series of chemistry experiments for students in grades 3-5 at the John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club in Newton. They captivate budding scientists with lessons on chemistry, matter, and elements; interactive explanations of molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles; and demonstrations of artificial snow making, polymer magic tricks, and the making of slime. The ChemClub also makes and sells “Periodic Chart” baked goods at the school’s annual Science Fair with the proceeds directed to the Newton Boys and Girls Club.
Ms. Fein and Dr. Sen will be recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization for their participation in the Global Experiment and commitment to the goals of the International Year of Chemistry. The IYC is a worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind, which includes providing safe drinking water to a thirsty world.
The American Chemical Society is a promoter of the International Year of Chemistry in the United States, and is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals, and scientific conferences.
To view the students’ data, click on the map link above, then choose Experiment 1, and hover over Massachusetts until Newton appears. Click there and you will see the name of Newton Country Day School, Genevieve Fein, Rebecca Sen, and the ChemClub’s pH measurements of the Charles River.