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EAC’s 24th Annual Student Chemistry Adventure brings chemistry to life for high school students

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EAC’s 24th Annual Student Chemistry Adventure brings chemistry to life for high school students

By Lori Dugan

Thatcher, AZ— Eastern Arizona College’s Chemistry Department welcomed 76 high school students and their teachers to the 24th Annual Student Chemistry Adventure. Twenty unique teams from high schools in Arizona and New Mexico enjoyed a wonderful day of chemistry.

Teams, composed of 3-4 students, competed against each other while rotating through four separate chemistry activities. There was a Laboratory Competition led by EAC chemistry instructor Duane DeSpain, a Speed Competition where students had 55 minutes to complete several short chemistry activities, the Knowledge Bowl, and The Chemistry of Copper led by Emily Muteb and several scientists and engineers from Freeport McMoRan (FMI). At the end of the activity, each participant was presented with a pure copper round courtesy of FMI as a souvenir.

After lunch, students and teachers congregated in the Math/Science building where the audience was dazzled by explosive elephant toothpaste, dancing flames, flaming bubbles, cannons, and an array of other colorful, loud, bright, and exciting chemical demonstrations.

Aaron Burk, biology instructor at EAC and his student assistant, Hannah Rosen, introduced the audience to our recently acquired live Gila monster and a Dumeril’s Boa named Caesar.

Dr. Phil McBride, EAC dean of instruction and coordinator of the event, recognized all of the participants and expressed thanks to the high school chemistry teachers for their efforts in providing quality instruction to their students.

Safford High School’s, “The Bulldogium Studentiums,” composed of Steven Griffith, Faith Dahlquist-Tookey, Riley DeSpain, and Darius Martindell finished in first-place and received first-place medals and a team plaque.

Second place medals and a team plaque went to Willcox High School’s, “Square Doughnuts,” composed of Luke Todd, Yasmin Cuevas, and Landon De Baun.

Third place medals and a team plaque went to Cliff (New Mexico) High School’s, “Bunsen Burners,” composed of Lacy Garner, Christa Mayberry, Gage Massey, and Heath Henderson.

“A special thanks to high school teachers Katie Skaggs (Cliff), Becky Bell (Duncan), Dana Olson (Fort Thomas), Heidi Vosbein (Mt. Graham), Carol Hawkins (Pima), Devin Ditmore (Round Valley), Brian J. Bruessel (Safford) and Ty White (Willcox) for their teaching expertise and dedication to their students. These teachers are truly making a difference in their schools,” said McBride.

For further information about educational and career opportunities in chemistry or other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields or for information about exciting science camps being offered this summer for students in grades 7-12, contact McBride at Eastern Arizona College at (928) 428-8404. There are only a few spots open for the three-day, two-night, STEM Camp at Tonto Creek near Payson, so if you are interested call now.