Chemistry Professors Brian Long and Michael Best recently received Service Awards from the College of Engineering for their participation in the Engineering Volunteers for Tenth Graders (eVOL10) Program 2013, a program designed to introduce tenth graders to applied sciences and raise their awareness of careers in STEM disciplines including chemistry and engineering.
A total of 32 students participated in this year’s program. Long and Best provided the participating students Chemistry 101 session, graduate student support, instruction, and walked them through Chemical Car Design Projects. For the project, students designed and built their own vehicles that were propelled through the combination of sodium bicarbonate and acetic acid. A competition was held at the end of the program, and impressive distances of travel above 35 feet were attained by student groups. In the program feedback survey, all of the students considered the experience was “fun” and “rewarding”.
Evolved from a previous program: Introduction of Sophomores To Engineering Principles (INSTEP), eVOL10 is a one-week summer program started in 2013. It introduces participants to applied sciences and ACT math preparation, and provides opportunities for them to compete in challenges involving the interplay between chemistry and engineering, and tour an engineering industrial plant. The program was provided to students at no major cost and is projected to continue in future years.