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EAC’s 15th Annual Chemistry Adventure brings chemistry to life for area high school students

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EAC’s 15th Annual Chemistry Adventure brings chemistry to life for area high school students

By Lori Dugan

THATCHER, AZ—Eastern Arizona College’s Chemistry Department — consisting of Joel Shelton and Dr. Phil McBride — hosted the 15th Annual Chemistry Adventure on April 26, 2007. Approximately 40 high school students from Morenci, Safford, Duncan, and Willcox participated in this full-day event. Dr. McBride formally welcomed the participants and their teachers in the College’s Gherald L. Hoopes Jr. Activities Center. Dr. Gary Sorensen spent 15 minutes showing students the academic and extracurricular possibilities available at EAC.

The students began the competition with a laboratory experiment to determine the molecular weight of a volatile liquid. Teams were graded on laboratory technique, calculations, safety, and accuracy.

The competition continued with a team event where students solved chemistry-related problems such as identifying minerals based on their physical and chemical properties, identifying unknown solutions as acids or bases using goldenrod paper, exploring the radioactive properties of beta and gamma emitters, and exploring the diffusion of gases. The third event involved teams making observations of an exothermic reaction on color changing paper and answering questions on a variety of chemistry concepts.

While results were being tabulated, EAC’s Organic Chemistry students dazzled the high school students with an array of colorful, loud, bright, and exciting chemical exhibitions.

Awards were presented at the conclusion of the chemistry demonstrations.

The first place winners, with a score of 93.7, were Morenci High School. Coached by Deborah Newton, the team members included Skyler Vise, Anthony Sandoval, Catalina Astengo, and Alyssa Cuthbertson.

Second place went to Willcox High School with a score of 92.4. Coached by Dave Parnell, the team included Kim Crawford, Carly Haas, Chris Rhoades, and Bidger Skaar.

Third place honors went to Safford High School with a score of 90.0. Coached by McKay DeSpain, the team members were Paul Gutierrez, Mladen Vukovic, and Colton Iske.