FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Fri Oct 21 16:42:03 EDT 2011

Hands-on science activities for minority middle school students and their families, Oct. 29

WASHINGTON — To celebrate the 2011 International Year of Chemistry (IYC) and the 2011 International Year for People of African Descent, the first Washington, D.C. area "Percy Julian Morning of Discovery" event will be held for middle school students on Oct. 29 at the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church.

WHAT: Community event for Washington, D.C. area middle school students to spark interest in STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Events include hands-on science activities with scientists from the American Chemical Society (ACS), talks on opportunities for women and minorities in these fields, resources for parents to nurture their children’s interest in STEM subjects, and workshops for students and parents. Students will receive bags with science resources to take home.

WHO: Students in grades 6-8 and their parents are encouraged to attend.

Hosts are the AC S, the Daniel Alexander Payne Community Development Corporation, the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), Howard University’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Dr. Percy Lavon Julian’s great-nephew, Percy Lavon Julian, II, will be on hand to represent the Julian family.

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 29, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Continental breakfast is at 8 a.m.; event is at 9 a.m.

WHERE: Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, 1518 M St. NW, Washington, D.C. Hands-on science activities will take place next door at the ACS Othmer Building, 1550 M St. NW.

WHY: To expose local African-American middle school students and their parents to STEM topics and to encourage students to consider vital and lucrative careers in these fields.

Note: Members of the press need not register, but are encouraged to contact Joan Coyle at j_coyle@acs.org or 202-872-6229.

Percy Julian (1899-1973), Ph.D., was an award-winning African American chemist who developed an important treatment for glaucoma and discovered how to make synthetic versions of human hormones and steroids, greatly advancing both chemistry and human health. He had more than 130 patents and his work was designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark by the ACS in 1999.

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