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William F. “Bill” Trammell, 2011 winner of the American Chemical Society’s Helen M. Free Award for Public Service, began volunteering with the National Science Center’s Fort Discovery museum in Augusta, Georgia, in 1997. Over a 12 year period, working as a volunteer and staff advisor, he organized and presented chemistry demonstrations as part of the outreach of the National Science Center and used its museum arm, Ford Discovery in Augusta, Ga., as a venue for local National Chemistry Week celebrations. Trammell’s involvement in public outreach for chemistry followed 34-year career in industry.
Working to promote interest among students and teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Trammell developed and presented chemistry demonstration programs, both live and through closed-circuit TV, to K-12 school groups and educators. His distance learning presentations reached students across the United States and in several foreign countries.
In 2001, Bill organized, developed and presented the program, “Chemistry of the Familiar,” which resulted in a VHS/DVD that was distributed, free of charge, by the ACS Savannah River Section to area schools and world-wide to interested groups and individuals. This was a joint effort between the National Science Center's Department of the Army partner, Augusta State University's Chemistry Department, and the ACS Savannah River Local Section.
Working with the Discovery Lab, Trammell expanded and strengthened programs that were provided to school groups visiting the museum, taken on the road by the museum staff and presented on-site at schools, providing an economical outreach alternative to a museum trip. In conjunction with staff, Trammell insured these programs met the national and state science standards. He then found ways to convert many of these programs into day camps during the summer and weeklong holiday periods throughout the school year.
Trammell organized live shows around such themes as “Spook-tacular Science” for Halloween and “The Science of Toys” and “The Science behind Fudge Making” for the Christmas season. In addition, he interacted successfully with other science centers, colleges and professional organizations to expand public knowledge of nanotechnology and other emerging technologies.