The Orlando Local Section took part in the Central Florida Earthday on April 23th, 2022 at Lake Eola (Downtown Orlando) to celebrate the Earth Week. This effort was led by Dr. Titel Jurca (Assistant Professor at UCF) and volunteers. The overall theme for our display was about “The Buzz About Bugs: Insect Chemistry”. Three posters were designed and used to support our outreach activity. The posters were used to facilitate discussion largely with teenage to adult age range visitors. The topics ranged from general facts/curiosities, specific applications to forensics, and a cross-over with materials chemistry and nanoscience and physics with regards to butterfly wings.
To engage younger children, we curated two activities. One was an arts and crafts station to create “chromatography” butterflies using coffee filters, water, and markers. This activity was very engaging with active participation throughout the day. Our second activity was a microscope set-up, as pictured below, and a collection of pinned insects donated from the University of Central Florida. This activity was perhaps our most popular with children of all ages and even adults often spending 10+ minutes looking at all of the structural features of the insects, learning about chitin, discussing color effects in butterfly wings, etc… Overall, the chromatography butterfly craft and the microscopy portion directly engaged and held a captive audience of over 150+ people throughout the day. Remaining passing engagement, discussion of posters/topics, presence of ACS in the community, and dissemination of pamphlets reached an estimated additional 400+ participants throughout the day.
The event began at 10 AM and ended at 4PM.