Orlando Section wins at the 25th Annual ChemLuminary Awards

Dr. Duy Le (UCF), Orlando Section webmaster, and Dr. Laura Sessions (Valencia College), Orlando Section Alternate Councilor are pictured with Mary K. Carroll, ACS President-Elect (right) and Dr. Lori Stepan, Chair of Committee on Community Activities (CCA) (left).

The Orlando Section received the ChemLuminary Award for Outstanding Community Involvement in National Chemistry Week at the ACS Fall 2023 Meeting in San Francisco. National Chemistry Week celebrates the importance of chemistry in everyday life. On October 22, 2022, about 400 attendees were able to participate in experiments related to the theme: Fabulous Fibers, The Chemistry of Fabrics.  The Orlando Section offered ten safe and exciting activities for attendees at our partner institution, the Orlando Science Center. This event was organized by Dr. Denisia Popolan-Vaida, assistant professor in the chemistry department at UCF, and supported by volunteers, faculty and students, from UCF, FIT, and Valencia College. The Orlando Section extends its appreciation to all the volunteers who made the event possible.

Edwin Davidson Barahona (Dr. Santra’s lab, UCF) and Kathleen Lugo-Charriez (Dr. Saitta’s group, UCF), celebrate after the award ceremony with Dr. Duy Le (UCF), Orlando Section webmaster, and Dr. Laura Sessions (Valencia College), Orlando Section Alternate Councilor.

Edwin shared that volunteering for the National Chemistry week ‘was a very enriching community engagement experience. I always enjoy any opportunity to share about chemistry and science with a diverse audience. This event allowed me to combine both of my passions and provide meaningful learning experiences to kids and young adults. Sharing chemistry knowledge with the participants and observing their sparked curiosity gave me a deeper appreciation of the importance of science. The collective teamwork done by the Orlando section and group of volunteers was incredible, and showcased the greater impact we can achieve working together to generate a positive and safe environment to foster scientific interest in the future generations.’

You can see pictures from the event here: https://orlandoacs.org/2022-national-chemistry-weeks-event-the-chemistry-of-fabrics/

Look for us at the Orlando Science Center again for National Chemistry Week celebrations in October 2023. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Denisia.Popolan-Vaida@ucf.edu.

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