CCEW 2021: Orlando Section at Central Florida Earthday

The Orlando Local Section took part in the Central Florida Earthday on April 25th, 2021 at Lake Eola (Downtown Orlando) to celebrate the Earth Week. This effort was led by Dr. Titel Jucar (UCF) and volunteers. Unlike previous years which had hands on activities for children, this was limited due to CDC guidance for physical distancing. The overall theme for our display was about plastics and the environment. We devised a survey to engage the public by asking them what % of plastics they believe to be recycled.

The event began at 10 AM and ended at 4PM. We were hit with a major thunderstorm at 10:30 which lasted for nearly 40 minutes. The rain damaged our displays and bent our tent. The group of ACS student volunteers pulled through, salvaged as much as we could and we went on with the day. The combination of the storm, and the added strains of the ongoing pandemic likely limited our level of interaction with the public. Nonetheless, the overall event was successful and we were able to engage with the Orlando community.

Local Participants in the 2021 U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad

The Orlando Section sponsored the participants of local student in the 2021 U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO).  Exams were taken in an online format, starting with the Local Exam, on March 27 and 28, 2021.  37 high school students  from seven high schools in the Orlando Section 7 county area.  Ten students were nominated from this group to go on to take the National Exam Part 1 online on April 7 and 8, 2021. 

These are the ten students who took the National Exam Part 1 (in no particular order):  

Jaehyun AhnHomeschool
Aidan MeyersWest Shore High School
Vishanth MurugesonOrange County High School
Truly ThomasHoly Trinity Episcopal Academy
Parker TysonHomeschool
Alexander BudkoWest Shore High School
Andy SharVanguard High School
Lyle AlvarezTrinity Prep High School
Krithik SeelaLake Highland Prep
Aiden LiuTrinity Prep High School

One student, Andy Shar, Vanguard High School was selected to take Part 2 the following weekend, April 15, 2021.  He did not advance to the National Team.  All students received certificates.

If you have any comments or questions regarding USNCO, please contact your Chemistry Olympiad Coordinator, Mary C. Roslonowski.

The State Science & Engineering Fair of Florida 2021: Avogadro award winner

Vedant Karalkar, the 2021 Avogadro award winner.

Congratulations to Vedant Karalkar from the Alachua County’s Eastside High School junior for winning the 2021 Avogadro award! Also, the student is the Grand Award Winner at the state science fair, which was held virtually from March 28 through April 1, won special awards from the Yale Science and Engineering Association, the United States Office of Naval Research, and will represent Florida at the prestigious Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair.

Karalkar’s project is called ‘Fabrication of Napthalimide Chemosensor Using InkJet Printing on Cellulose Paper for Determination of Uric Acid and Metal in Solution.’ The young scientist developed a low-cost sensor that could be used to test for a variety of diseases in areas with little or no access to current diagnostic tests that often require more expensive instruments, sophisticated techniques and/or highly-skilled medical personnel. The Avogadro Award that is given each year at the State Science and Engineering Fair with the support of the ACS local sections in the state of Florida.

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