Saturday, October 31, 2015

Community Outreach for National Chemistry Week

In celebration of National Chemistry Week (Oct 18-24) and Mole Day (October 23), the Biology-Chemistry Club of IU South Bend hosted hands-on activities for kids on the theme "Chemistry Colors Our World!".  More than twice as many children as last year came to the River Park Public Library last Saturday to try their hand at making an Alka-Seltzer lava lamp, marker chromatography, micelles with food coloring and soap, Gobstopper dye separation, and learned about the many colors in leaves. They left with a bag of colorful treat bags to try some of the experiments at home. Our college students deserve a special "thank-you" for their efforts to reach the future science students that will one day study at IU and many other campuses. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Students Flock to Rizk's Lab

Professor Shahir Rizk, our new biochemist, has been teaching for just over two months and hasn't yet finished setting up his laboratory for research. Nevertheless, he has already attracted two students to his research group.  Sophomore chemistry major  Riley Bigelow (left) and senior biochemistry major Kourtney Kemmerling (right) are shown here trying out their new pipettes and personal protection equipment - a must for any laboratory. To support his research, Rizk is bringing in several new pieces of equipment such as a nanodrop UV-visible spectrometer (for spectral analysis of very small samples), an incubator for growing cells (from which to harvest enzymes and other protein), and a cooled table-top centrifuge (to help in the actual harvesting). 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Are Your Grades Dropping? Help is Available!

There are just seven weeks left in this Fall semester.  To make sure you get the most from your courses, please be aware of all the opportunities for help.  Here are some:
(1) Your instructor's office hours.
      After-hour appointments may be possible.
(2) Tutoring at ACE's Learning Center in the administration building.
(3) SI sessions often available once a week for freshman courses.
      Consult your professor for details.
(4) ACE's "Study Smarter" sessions are available.
(5) Form a study group with classmates - two heads are better than one.
      But stay on task and don't let it degenerate into a social event.
Additionally, the library is now hosting a Monday evening (6:00 to 8:00) chemistry tutor in the Dorene Dwyer Hammes Media Commons and CafĂ© area. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

2015 Nobel Prize Winners

The winners of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry were recently announced. Three men shared the prize this year and they were all biochemists who explored how enzymes help to repair damaged DNA. An article describing their achievements can be viewed at the website for Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN). The image above highlights the history of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and shows how many awards have been given in each area of chemistry. It also lists each prize winner and the reason for the award.  Click here for the full image at C&EN.  How many scientists have won the prize twice? How many women prize winners can you find? How many minority prize winners have there been? In what year will you win?