2023 CCEW Illustrated Poem Contest: The Curious Chemistry of Amazing Algae

The Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) is hosting an illustrated poem contest for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Entries must be sponsored by a local school or community group for verification purposes.

Contest_Deadline:Sunday, April 30, 2023 at 11:59 PM Eastern
Local Prizes: One winner will be awarded (monetary) for each of the flowing categories:
Grades K-2     Grades 3-5     Grades 6-8     Grades 9-12
The teacher who guided the winner will receive a small funding for classroom supplies.
Local Contact:Duy Le (submission@orlandoacs.org)
Submission:Illustrated poem and submission form must be submitted to https://forms.gle/XVLtvkiqLtbGHfB79
or emailed to submission@orlandoacs.org

Winners of the Orlando Section’s Illustrated Poem Contest will advance to the National Illustrated Poem Contest for a chance to be featured on the ACS website and to win prizes!

How to participate:

Write and illustrate a poem using the CCEW theme, “The Curious Chemistry of Amazing Algae.” Your poem must be no more than 40 words and in the following styles to be considered:


Possible topics related to the theme include:

  • Seaweed
  • Micro- or macro-algae
  • Photosynthesis
  • Bioluminescent algae
  • Algae as food & habitat for animals
  • Consumer products from algae
  • Oxygen from algae
  • Biofuels from algae

Entries will be judged based upon:

  • Artistic Merit – use of color, quality of drawing, design & layout
  • Poem Message – fun, motivational, inspiring about yearly theme
  • Originality Creativity – unique, clever and/or creative design
  • Neatness – free of spelling and grammatical errors

Contest rules:

·   All poems must be no more than 40 words, and in one of the following styles to be considered: Haiku, Limerick, Ode, ABC poem, Free verse, End rhyme, and Blank verse.
·   Entries are judged based upon relevance to and incorporation of the NCW theme, word choice and imagery, colorful artwork, adherence to poem style, originality and creativity, and overall presentation.
·   All entries must be original works without aid from others. Poems may be submitted by hand on an unlined sheet of paper not larger than 11” by 14” or scanned and sent via email. Illustrations may be created using crayons, watercolors, other types of paint, colored pencils, or markers. The illustration may also be electronically created by using a digital painting and drawing app on a computer, tablet, or mobile device.
·   The text of the poem should be easy to read and may be typed before the hand-drawn or digital illustration is added, or the poem may be written on lined paper, which is cut out and pasted onto the unlined paper with the illustration.
·   No clipart or unoriginal images can be used.
·   Only one entry per student will be accepted; all entries must include an entry form. If the illustration is created using a digital painting or drawing app, the name of the program must be included on the entry form.
·   Acceptance of prizes constitutes consent to use winners’ first name, and entry for editorial, advertising, and publicity purposes.

Download submission form and this flyer.

Examples (2022 National winners)

2023 Student Travel Awards

To encourage participation of students in local, regional, and national conferences organized by the American Chemical Society and its affiliates and to create opportunities for students to enhance their scientific experiences and networking, the Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society offers travel awards to students who are in need of financial supplement for their conference participations.

The awards will be given to selected students who participate in the Florida Annual Meeting and Exposition (FAME), the Southeastern Regional Meeting of The American Chemical Society (SERMACS), or the ACS National Meeting & Exposition. For each conference, up to two students will receive awards of up to $150, $250, or $500, respectively.

To apply, student applicant needs to prepare an application package (a single PDF file) that includes the following:

  • Brief introduction of applicant
  • Proof of acceptance to conference (acceptance of abstract)
  • Brief explanation of why travel award from the Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society is necessary (especially those whose research projects are federal/industrially/privately funded)
  • Contact information of advisor (The award committee will request a statement for advisor indicating appropriate use of the travel award to registration, lodging, and/or travel expenses).

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis up to one month before the conference, so early submission is encouraged.  Application package should be sent via email to Awards Committee Chair (Dr. Laura Sessions, lsessions@valenciacollege.edu). The committee will select awardees mainly based on applicant’s financial needs and date of application.  Novelty and impact of research project is a bonus criterion.

Younger Chemist Committee (YCC): Exploring Entrepreneurship in STEM

The Younger Chemists Committee of Central Florida is proud to host “Exploring Entrepreneurship in STEM” (virtual/in person event) on February 16th at 6:30 pm, with speaker Dr. Jim Brenner from the Florida Institute of Technology. Dr. Brenner will be sharing valuable insights gained from his many years of experience as an entrepreneur in the nanotechnology industry.

For more event information, our RSVP link is shown below that includes the zoom link and the in-person location: https://exploringentrepreneurship.rsvpify.com

Please don’t forget to reach out to us on social media at https://linktr.ee/yccacsorlando for updates, news, and activities about our committee.

Results of 2022 NCW Illustrated Poem Contest: Fabulous Fibers: The Chemistry of Fabrics

hosted 2022 NCW Illustrated Poem Contest for K-12 students in Central Florida. The theme of the contest is “Fabulous Fibers: The Chemistry of Fabrics.”

The contest received many entries from multiple schools. Thanks to the teachers who brought the contest to students’ attention.

Results of local contest:

K-2 Category
No winner

Grade 3-5 Category
Winner: Christienne Jette Tenerife from George Marks Elementary

Grade 6-8 Category
Winner: Tyler Segrest from Tuskawilla Middle School

Grade 9-12 Category
No winner

The winner of each category will receive a certificate and a monetary award of $50. The teacher who guided the winner of each category will receive a school supply funding of $100.

The winner of each category also advances to the national 2022 NCW Illustrated Poem Contest. The full results of national contest can be found at ACS Website.

If you have any comments or questions regarding the local contest, please contact the local section’s coordinator of the contest (Dr. Duy Le, contact@orlandoacs.org).

Younger Chemist Committee (YCC): Chemical Industry Interactive Panel (CIIP)

YCC Orlando is excited to bring you the opportunity to connect with professional in industry via a structured Q&A with Chemical Industry Interactive Panel (CIIP). This virtual event aims to make connections with professionals from Florida so that budding scientists and engineers can get a chance to access the opportunities available locally. RSVP to attend our virtual event using this link: https://lnkd.in/ectX66Cc

Please don’t forget to reach out to us on social media at https://linktr.ee/yccacsorlando for updates, news, and activities about our committee.

Annual Awards Banquet Invitation

The Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society will recognize 2022 awards winners in a traditional annual awards banquet on December 3rd, 2022. You are invited to attend the banquet:

Saturday, December 3rd, 2022
11:30AM to 2:00PM
At the blu on the avenue
326 Park Avenue South, Winter Park, FL 32789

Shrimp Cocktail 
Stuffed Mushroom – sausage, spinach, parmesan
Fried Green Tomato – pimento spread, bacon jam, chives
Tomato and Mozzarella Skewer – fresh basil, olive oil, balsamic glaze
Entrée choice of
Pasta Primavera seasonal vegetables, grana padano cheese
Chicken Piccata, white wine, butter, capers, lemon sauce garlic mash, seasonal vegetable
Salmon, tomato bruschetta, balsamic glaze, garlic mash, seasonal vegetable
Key Lime Trifle, Apple Caramel Crisp Trifle
Iced tea, soft beverages, and Illy coffee
Cash bar is available

The cost will be $30/person (after subsidy, tax and gratuity included)The Section will pay the bill with a single check. Please be prepared to pay at the door by check or cash—unfortunately we cannot accept credit cards.

Reservation can be made online at https://forms.gle/VjGJrT4GpJnsnLtw6, or by email to contact@orlandoacs.org, or calling Darlene Slattery at 321-632-2535. Reservations must be made by November 26, 2022.   Please include names so that we can provide nametags.

We look forward to seeing you all there!

2023 US National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO)

Dear Chemistry Colleague,

As 2022 Chair of the Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS), I am pleased to announce that the Orlando section will be participating in the 2023 US National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO). The primary goals of this program are to stimulate interest and achievement in chemistry among high school students throughout the United States and to provide recognition of outstanding young chemistry students, teachers, and schools. 

Students competing in the USNCO are eligible to be selected as members of the United States team for the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO). For the past 35 years, the United States has sent a team of four students to compete with nations around the world at IChO. The students participate in both theoretical and laboratory examinations over several days. Gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded to the best performers and the IChO provides students the opportunity to interact with their peers from other countries. 

My immediate task is to encourage you and your students to participate in this program. It is the responsibility of the Orlando section to nominate students from the local area to take the USNCO national examination. In order to identify these students, the Orlando section is conducting a preliminary screening of students through the high school chemistry faculty in our area. The national exam involves three phases, administered to more than 1000 students.  The first exam is done in the high school chemistry class organized by the high school instructor for nominated students. This can take place anytime during the month of March. Exams will be mailed to the high school instructor in late February. Exam answer sheets are emailed or mailed back to the Olympiad coordinator by March 30, 2023

Ten (10) students (maximum of 2 students from each high school) will be chosen, based on the second round scores, to take part in an all day chemistry practical at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy on Saturday, April 22, 2023 in room 404. This is an all-day theoretical and practical exam, running from 8:30 AM-3:00 PM. Students will be notified in early April if they are selected for this second round of testing. Students can view study resources and view past exams at www.acs.org/olympiad.

I encourage your school to participate in this academic Olympiad. All students who participate will be recognized and presented with a certificate and pin. The top 150 students will receive recognition for outstanding performance at the national level.  Also, any student making it to the third round of testing in Washington, DC in May, can be sponsored by the Orlando Section for travel. The local Orlando section hopes this recognition will stimulate interest in chemistry and promote a positive attitude toward chemistry. 

Mary Roslonowski has been appointed the USNCO coordinator for this area. We encourage you to nominate students from your school to this competition by completing and returning the enclosed registration form on or before Jan 15, 2023 to Mary Roslonowski at mroslonowski@htes.org. If you have any questions, please contact her at 321-243-6198. Thank you for helping to promote chemical education in the US.


Denisia Popolan-Vaida, Ph.D.

2022 Chair, Orlando Section ACS

Important information

Annual Election: Meet the Candidates for 2023 Executive Committee

We are excited to announce the candidates for 2023 Executive Committee of the Orlando Section. Voting is expected to open on October 24th, 2022, when you will receive a separate email with the instructions on how to cast your votes electronically and will close on November 8th, 2022.

Dr. Nicole Lapeyrouse
Candidate for Chair

Dr. Nicole Lapeyrouse is a lecturer at the University of Central Florida (UCF). She performed her undergraduate studies at Florida International University and graduate work at UCF. At UCF, her research focused on the remediation of chlorinated compounds in aqueous environments and chemistry education. Dr. Lapeyrouse’s current research includes investigating student perception of teaching practices and their experience with unique multimedia, diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM instructional materials, and STEM retention.

Dr. Stephen Smith
Candidate for Chair-Elect

Dr. Stephen Smith is a native of Central Florida and currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering and Sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology. He completed his PhD in chemistry at the University of Central Florida in 2021. His research interests include synthesis of nanomaterials via industrially viable processes for applications as bactericides.

Dr. Pavithra Pathirathna
Candidate for Secretary

Pavithra Pathirathna is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering and Sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology. She performed her undergraduate studies at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, and her Ph.D. with Parastoo Hashemi in the Department of Chemistry at Wayne State University, MI, USA. Her postdoctoral work was at the University of Pittsburgh with Shigeru Amemiya. Pavithra’s interdisciplinary and translational research program centers on developing and optimizing electrochemical sensors for analyzing biologically and environmentally impactful metals and neurotransmitters with applications in point of care diagnostics. Some of her prestigious distinctions include Honor Citation for Teaching Service and Esther and Stanley Kirschner General Chemistry Teaching Award. Besides her scholarly and teaching activities, Pavithra has been serving as the secretary of the ACS Orlando section since 2021 and a reviewer and a co-editor of several journals.

Dr. Van Quach
Candidate for Treasurer

Dr. Van Quach has been the treasurer of the Orlando Section since 2019.  In addition, he is a professor of chemistry at Seminole State College.  He has been teaching there since Aug 2010.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Florida in 1999.  After taking some time off for travel, he made his way up to Tallahassee, FL to start graduate school.  At Florida State University, his research focused on better understanding of the theoretical and fundamental processes that occur during chemical separation.  Specifically, he investigated the temperature dependence of the phase ration in liquid chromatography systems.  He received his Ph.D. in 2009 and taught for two years at FSU before returning to the central Florida area to teach at Seminole State College.  In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, reading, and drinking good wines.

Dr. Darlene Slattery
Candidate for Councilor

Dr. Slattery has been an active member of the Orlando Section since its inception in 1991, serving as Chair in 1992, 2002 and 2008, treasurer in 1996 and has served as Councilor since 2011.  She has also served on a number of local section committees, including the Awards Committee, which she has chaired for the majority of her time in the Section.  

As Councilor, Dr. Slattery has served on two National Committees, first on the Committee on Chemical Safety and since 2018, she has served on the Membership Affairs Committee (MAC), where she was actively involved in the development of the new membership model that resulted in new categories of membership and more pricing options.  As a member of MAC, she is also the lead for the Liaison and Caucus Working Group.  

Dr. Slattery is happily retired and looks forward to the opportunity to continue her support of the Orlando Section.

Call for Annual Awards

Since 1991, the Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society has recognized individuals who live, work, or study in the seven-county region of the Orlando Section and excel in chemistry. Continuing this tradition, this year, the Orlando Section will give the following awards:

  • Eileen Tulley Award for Outstanding High School Student
  • Outstanding High School Teacher
  • Outstanding Undergraduate at a Primarily Teaching Institution
  • Outstanding Undergraduate at a Primarily Research Institution
  • Outstanding Graduate at a Primarily Research Institution
  • Outstanding Educator at a Primarily Teaching Institution
  • Outstanding Educator at a Primarily Research Institution
  • Outstanding Chemist
  • Outstanding Chemistry Professional
  • Outstanding Entrepreneur/Employer Award
  • Outstanding Volunteer

Descriptions and criteria for each award can be found in our website at https://orlandoacs.org/annual-awards

If you know someone or companies who should be recognized publicly, please nominate them for an ACS Orlando Section award. Each Award consists of a plaque and a monetary award. Awardees will be honored at the local Section’s annual banquet held on December 3rd, 2022.  Student nominees need not be currently enrolled in chemistry but can be nominated for achievements for the spring 2022 term.

Nomination package includes:
(1) A letter of nomination stating why this person/company* deserves the award.
(2) A letter of support from someone else who knows the nominee.

Each letter should include the name of the award, and the writer’s email address and daytime phone number. Electronic submissions are required. Email PDF letters to Dr. Darlene Slattery, Chair of the Orlando Section Awards Committee at dslattery1@cfl.rr.com. To be considered, nominations must be received by Friday November 4th, 2022 November 9th, 2022.

Nominators of awardees are expected to participate in the local Section’s annual banquet to introduce the awardees.

* Point of contact for nominated company must be included in the letter.