FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | September 28, 2009

Chemists take part in Hispanic Community Day; ACS scholar will address women

WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 –– The American Chemical Society (ACS) will host events for families, teachers and children of all ages at a “Festival de Quimica” Saturday, Oct. 3, during the Hispanic Engineering Science and Technology (HESTEC) Week conference. The week-long HESTEC event begins Sept. 27, and is being held on the campus of the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) in Edinburg.

At Saturday’s free “Festival de Quimica,” which will be held from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. as part of HESTEC’s Community Day, there will be hands-on chemistry activities, and children can become honorary chemists. Activity sheets in Spanish and English will be distributed.

On Wednesday, Sept. 30, the ACS is taking part in HESTEC Latinas Day, when hundreds of female high school students and their mothers will hear success stories from prominent Hispanic women. Included as a speaker is ACS scholar Jacqueline Thomas, Ph.D., now a chemist with Procter & Gamble. She will speak about her experiences while pursuing a career in science and her role as an ACS scholar.

The annual Hispanic Engineering Science and Technology (HESTEC) Program is organized by the University, which is recognized as one of the leading Hispanic service institutions, and by Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, (D-TX) whose 15th District includes the institution. The Congressman, who has been honored by ACS for his contributions to the progress of science education, started the event seven years ago as a means of focusing on the need for more students to study engineering and science. The conference is considered one of the largest Hispanic science events in the United States, drawing large crowds of scientists, teachers, students and members of the community.

David Harwell, ACS Assistant Director of Career Management and Diversity Programs, said ACS participation in the event allowed the Society “to reach out to the community and encourage students to investigate scientific careers and to learn about the exciting role chemistry plays in daily life.” Harwell also said ACS is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in the field of chemistry.

ACS will take part in Monday’s Educator Day by making available free copies of The Merck Index to the more than 1,500 science teachers attending the event. The book is a valuable resource for scientists and is being provided by Merck & Co., Inc.

A full schedule of events is available at www.hestec.org.

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–– Charmayne Marsh