Collaborative Opportunities Grant Winners and Results

The Collaborative Opportunities Grants are designed to smaller activities that collaborators can use to provide momentum to true partnerships. Below are descriptions of the winning projects. (The year the grant was awarded is shown in parentheses.)

Click on a project for more details on how the activities were conducted, outcomes, materials produced, and tips for success.

Results from 2016 grant winners will be available when projects are completed in Summer 2017.

Museum Exhibits

Winner: Modesto Junior College (CA)
Partners: California State University Stanislaus, El Concilio, and James C. Enochs High School

Partners will develop an interactive chemistry exhibit for the Great Valley Museum, focusing on the properties of matter with an emphasis on the elements. The exhibit is intended to stimulate interest in STEM fields in an underserved community.

Research with industry, government, four-year institutions

Winner: Lorain County Community College (OH)
Partners: Cleveland State University, Envantage, Inc., Lorain Water Purification Plant, Akron Local Section, Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET), and Lorain City Schools

Building on an existing collaboration between Lorain County Community College and the start-up, Cleveland Whiskey, students will analyze bourbon samples to evaluate new whiskey production methods. Partners will develop and validate new analytical techniques, explore their applications to other industries, and provide new research opportunities for high school and two-year college students.

Initiating Collaborative Effort in Research (2016)

Winner: Florida SouthWestern State College - Edison Campus (FL)
Partner: Florida Gulf Coast University

A series of small research projects will form the basis for a broader research program that relies on the collaboration of faculty from two- and four-year institutions. Initial projects will explore organic vapor detection for the purpose of rapid explosives identification.

South Puget Sound Collaborative Undergraduate Research Experience (2016)

Winner: South Puget Sound Community College (WA)
Partner: Department of Ecology State of Washington, Dragon Analytical Laboratory, Inc., and Saint Martin's University

This pilot program will pair two-year college students with mentors from a variety of sectors to conduct original research. The research will be part of for-credit courses that also cover the use of the scientific method, ethics, research methods, proposal writing, and presentation techniques.

Research with high schools

Winner: Harper College (IL)
Partner: Hampshire High School

Education majors from Harper College will mentor small groups of high school sophomores as they analyze local water samples. Students will travel to the college campus to test water using both test kits and ICP, then present their findings.  

Evaluation of Evaporation and Distillation in the Creation of Training Samples for Arson Canines (2016)

Winner: Craven Community College (NC)
Partner: New Bern Fire and Rescue and West Craven High School

High school and two-year college students will develop a standardized method for preparing gasoline samples. These samples will be used by the local fire department to train dogs to detect flammables and potential explosives.


Winner: Washtenaw Community College (MI)
Partner: University of Michigan

Partners are developing a 1-credit seminar course that explores educational and career tracks in chemistry and related fields. Students from both institutions will meet with faculty and alumni to discuss fields of research, educational requirements for various career paths, and workplace environments. Students will also complete a capstone project.

GReen Energy At Texas (GREAT): Increasing Student Retention in the Physical Sciences (2016)

Winner: Austin Community College (TX)
Partner: University of Texas at Austin

First-year students at Austin Community College will be invited to a seminar series in which University of Texas (UT) faculty discuss their green energy research. Participating students will have the opportunity to participate in an 8-week summer research program under the guidance of a UT faculty member.

Outreach events

Winner: Kent State University at Ashtabula (OH)
Partner: Northeastern University and St. Gabriel School

Partners will support participation of approximately 1,500 middle school students in the local, state, and national levels of the You Be The Chemist Challenge by providing study materials and prizes. Outreach activities will be held throughout the year, culminating in a Family Chemistry Day, featuring hands-on activities and campus tours.  

Winner: Miami University Middletown (OH)
Partners: Miami University Oxford Campus, Quaker Chemical Corporation, and Edgewood High School

Students from four high schools will be brought together with industry chemists, university chemistry faculty, and college alumni to explore local careers in the chemical sciences. The day will feature hands-on chemistry experiments that tie into the focus of local industries, presentations by local employers and two- and four-year program representatives, and lunch with the speakers.

Chemistry for Scouts (2016)

Winner: Montgomery College, Rockville Campus (MD)
Partner: Boy Scouts of America’s National Capital Area Council, Chemical Society of Washington, and Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital Council

This outreach event will give Boy and Girls Scouts the opportunity to earn chemistry-based merit badges as part of the Maryland STEM Festival.

Winner: Texarkana College (TX)
Partner: Le Tourneau University, Airgas®, Sulphur River Basin Authority, North East Texas ACS Local Section, Boy Scouts of America, and Pleasant Grove High School

Partners will collaborate on a series of outreach events at local high schools, elementary schools, and SCOUT-O-RAMA 2016. College students will also meet with Airgas® to discuss science careers, and the Sulfur River Basin Authority will collaborate with students on a water monitoring activity. Texarkana students will travel to Le Tourneau University to use advanced instrumentation for an organic chemistry experiment.

Winner: Mineral Area College (MO)
Partners: Bismarck R5 School District

College faculty will combine traditional lecture, visual aids, and a kinesthetic tie-dying project to introduce over 300 second-graders to basic atomic theory, atomic bonding, and physical vs. chemical changes. The project will assess the impact of these activities on student learning and engagement in science.

Winner: San Jacinto College-Central (TX)
Partner: Afterschool Centers on Education

San Jacinto College will host a STEM Expo event on the central campus for approximately 1,000 2nd-6th students and adults from Afterschool Centers of Education (ACE) and the Pasadena school district. While the majority of activities will be chemistry-focused, the robotics club, math department, and biology department will also provide several demonstrations.