2018 Annual Banquet Highlights

The Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony was held on Thursday evening, November 8, at Imperial Garden Chinese Restaurant. Sixty people attended, ranging in age from university undergrads to octogenarians as well as some accompanying children (thus significantly lowering our average age!) In addition to honoring 50-, 60-, and 70-year ACS members, there were ACS Student Excellence Awardees as well as the recipients of ACS awards. The detailed program listing all winners is available here.

The Banquet speaker was Professor Helen Blackwell from UW-Madison Chemistry. Her topic was “Chemical Interception of Bacterial Communication Pathways.”

Abstract: Many bacteria communicate using a chemical language to monitor their population densities in a process called “quorum sensing.” At high cell densities, bacteria use this signaling network to switch from a single cell existence to that of a multicellular community. This lifestyle switch is significant, as it often controls how the bacteria interact with their hosts and other bacterial species. Our research is focused on the development of non-native molecules that can intercept quorum sensing and provide new insights into its role in host/microbe interactions and in the environment. I will introduce our research approach, highlight recent results, and motivate why I believe chemists are poised to make unique contributions to this research area.

In the evening’s program you will also find a listing of the current officers of the Section and information in words and photos about our recent and upcoming activities. Additional photos are on out Flickr page!

During the banquet, the following posters were on display: High School Teacher Scholarship Winners and Crystal Growing Contest; Local Section Social Events from 2018; ACS Hach Scholars.  These illustrate some of our recent activities—as a group and as individuals. If you don’t find yourself included, perhaps you can do something about that: Make Suggestions! Get Involved! Join our next social activity!

2018 March for Science

The Wisconsin Section ACS has is pleased to announce that the 2018 March for Science will take place on Saturday, May 5th, from 3 -7 PM. Participants will meet at James Madison Park (614 E Gorham St, Madison) and march down Langdon Street to Library/State Street Mall, where the rally itself will occur. Speakers will be scheduled to address the crowd any time between approximately 4:15-5:30, and the organizers are expanding this year’s event to include a science-based festival immediately following the rally. Science organizations and science advocates will be providing information, demonstrations and experiments for both children and adults. We encourage all members to participate.

Wisconsin Space Crystal Mission

The WI Local Section is one of the co-sponsors of the WI Crystal Growing Contest. In 2017 the four contest winners went on to work with CASIS (Center for the Advancement of Science in Space) to design a crystallization experiment to be conducted aboard the International Space Station in April 2018. Their challenges included: Do crystals grown in space differ from the ones grown on Earth? Do compounds crystallize differently in space? What hardware does one use to conduct a crystallization experiment in space? Fuller information is below:

It has just been announced that the WI Space Crystal Mission will take place again in 2018!

Do crystals grown in space differ from the ones grown on Earth? Do compounds crystallize differently in space? What hardware does one use to conduct a crystallization experiment in space? Answers to these questions are being sought by the winners of the 2017 WI state-wide Crystal Growing Contest (WICGC), co-sponsored by the ACS WI Local Section. The four laureates have been collaborating with the Molecular Structure Laboratory and scientists from the CASIS, Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, to design two crystal-growing experiments to be conducted aboard the International Space Station in April 2018. To qualify for this honor, three middle and three high school students won top prizes in the WICGC by growing high-quality crystals and creating crystal-inspired artworks.

The annual WICGC has been organized since 2014 by the departmental Molecular Structure Laboratory to promote the Wisconsin Idea, introduce participants to the scientific method, and inspire the next generation of young scientists. The 2018 WICGC began on March 1, 2018. Participants include 621 middle-school and high-school students as well home-schooled youths ages 11–18 from 21 middle and 26 high schools. Science teacher participation is the highest to date with 19 middle-school and 15 high-school teachers and home-schooling parents. The state-wide competition attracted participants across the state from Menomonie to Luxemburg and from Phillips to Salem. The free contest offers an introduction to solution chemistry, laboratory work, team partnership, a prospect to succeed at a new endeavor, and an opportunity to visit the UW–Madison campus and a flagship Chemistry Department. At the May 18, 2018 award ceremony Chemistry Department chair Prof. Judith Burstyn will communicate the significant role of the department on campus; Prof. John Moore and Luke Oxtoby will give a lecture with chemical demonstrations; guest speaker from CASIS, Dr. Marc Giulianotti will describe the International Space Station and its function in the scientific community. The winners will be recognized with certificates, books, T-shirts, and cash prizes. The six top winners will qualify for the 2018 WI Space Crystal Mission!

Numerous ACS and ACS WI Local Section members have helped with the organization of the contest, whereas industrial and non-profit sponsors provided financial support to this important outreach activity.

Three Teachers Win BCCE Scholarship

Three Wisconsin high school teachers in the ACS Wisconsin Local Section are recipients of scholarships of up to $500 each to attend the 2018 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education.The BCCE will be held July 29 through August 2 at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

The scholarship recipients are:

• Stacey Balbach, STEM Lead Teacher, Cuba City High School, Cuba City

• Corinne Fish, Science Teacher, Reedsburg Area High School, Reedsburg

• Eric Pantano, Science Teacher, Edgewood High School of the Sacred Heart, Madison