Activity Examples for Undergraduate Regional Meeting Programs

Here is a list of suggested events for your regional meeting undergraduate program. Feel free to be creative and go beyond what is listed here. Again, your location and audience may allow you do some innovative programming.

Research and Chapter Poster Session (1.5–2 hours)

Posters are a low-pressure method for students to share their research and chapter activities. Oral presentations could also be planned if time, space and interest permit. This activity gives students an opportunity to test their presentation skills with ACS members and other professionals. Undergraduate research presentations demonstrate the role of undergraduates in research and in the chemistry profession. The organizing committee may allow undergraduate research abstracts to be submitted beyond the deadline for other abstracts. Keep in mind, however, that the ACS bylaws state that all abstracts for research presented at the meeting must be published in the meeting’s program.

Technical Symposium (1.5–2 hours)

This activity provides students with an opportunity to hear from seasoned ACS professionals. Pick a topic that will be of interest to many students and can be presented at several levels, such as environmental issues, forensic science, or science policy. For example, a panel of experts in applied chemistry may survey state-of-the-art methodologies in a particular field. Limit the number of speakers per symposium to three. It is highly recommended that a relevant ACS Division cosponsor this activity. Some technical symposia offered at ACS national meetings have included “Applications in Polymer Chemistry”, “Chemistry and the Environment”, and “Marine Chemistry”.

Eminent Scientist Lecture (1.5 hours)

This activity has been very popular at ACS meetings. Eminent scientists such as Daryle Busch, Gregory Choppin, Eloy Rodriguez, and Jacqueline Barton have given inspirational talks about their research. An eminent scientist lecture usually highlights various state-of-the-art techniques and discoveries in the chemical sciences and is presented in a way that is meaningful to an undergraduate audience. This activity also provides an opportunity for undergraduates to get to know a scientist who is a leading authority in his or her field. An informal luncheon or an interactive discussion after the lecture can enhance this activity.

Green Chemistry Workshop (1.5–2 hours)

A green chemistry workshop provides an introduction to green chemistry, including the concept, applications, and activities. An awareness of green chemistry principles and technologies is increasingly important given the growing emphasis on sustainability and environmental issues. Green chemistry activities could include an overview of the field, a panel discussion by industry experts who have successfully adopted green chemistry technologies, or a workshop on ideas for making your Student Affiliates Chapter "greener". For other programming ideas or for assistance in integrating green chemistry into your regional meeting program, please contact the Green Chemistry Institute at gci@acs.org or 800-227-5558, ext. 4562.

Career Symposium or Panel Discussion (1.5–2 hours)

A speaker or a panel of speakers representing industry, government, or academia may provide a forum for questions and answers for students interested in understanding what kind of jobs they

can pursue with a degree in chemistry. A diverse grouping of career paths is suggested to represent options for chemical technicians, B.S. graduates, and those with traditional and nontraditional career interests. Try to include women and minority role models on the panel as well. ACS Career Services can serve as a resource for planning career-related workshops or symposia. Contact Career Services at careers@acs.org.

Experiential Programs in Chemistry Activity (1.5–2 hours)

The Experiential Programs in Chemistry (EPiC) activity offers workshops, panel discussions, and poster sessions on internships, co-ops, service learning, and study/work abroad. Experiential programs are an important component of undergraduate education and give students an edge when they are applying for a job or graduate school. EPiC activities could include an internship panel discussion, a study/work abroad workshop, or a co-op workshop for faculty and industry. For other programming ideas or for assistance in integrating EPiC activities into your regional meeting program, contact the EPiC activity office at epic@acs.org or 800-227-5558, ext. 6188.

How To Be an Award-Winning Student Affiliates Chapter Workshop (2 hours)

This workshop serves as a brainstorming session for Student Affiliates chapter problem solving and development and provides a networking forum for those involved in mentoring undergraduate students. Students often lead this discussion and should represent the diversity of schools in the region (e.g., two- and four-year colleges, research universities, and predominantly minority institutions). Discussions often focus on fund-raising, planning community outreach activities, improving recruitment and retention of Student Affiliates, and enhancing the cooperative network in the region. The network may consist of faculty members, Student Affiliates, ACS local section officers, and scientists and engineers working in the public and private sectors.

Kids & Chemistry Workshop (3 hours)

In this workshop, staff from the ACS Education Division will offer tips on how to work with children and information on what chemistry topics are covered in a typical elementary science curriculum. Student Affiliates will learn about Kids & Chemistry, an ACS hands-on outreach program that helps scientists work with schoolchildren to explore how chemistry and other sciences affect our lives. Participants will also have the opportunity to try hands-on activities and practice some of the skills necessary to make their next visit to the classroom an exciting and educational experience. To incorporate this activity into your regional meeting program, contact the Kids & Chemistry office at 800-227-5558, ext. 6249, or via e-mail at kids@acs.org.

Kick-Off Social (1.5–2 hours)

This event should be scheduled at the beginning of the program. The purpose of the social is to give students from different schools a chance to get to know one another early in the program. This informal event might include icebreaker activities, music, and other forms of social/interactive entertainment, such as a volleyball tournament, a picnic, dinner, dancing, or chemistry-related games.

Other Activities

  • A graduate school fair or preparation workshop
  • A tour of the city, the host school, or a local industrial company
  • An awards program to recognize outstanding students and mentors.
Remember to include in your proposal detailed descriptions of the three educational or career-related events that you plan to carry out at your regional meeting.