Wisconsin Local Section


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Participate in the National Chemistry Olympiad

Posted on February 3, 2018 at 12:20 AM

Highschool teachers - consider encouraging your students to participate in the National Chemistry Olympiad! 

When: Friday, March 9, 2018; Exam begins 4:45pm, Pizza and demonstration at 6:15pm, ending at 7pm

Where: UW-Madison Chemistry Building (Room TBA)

RSVP: Email Matt Bowman (bowman@chem.wisc.edu) by March 5th, 2018

Registration is free and the event is sponsored by the ACS Wisconsin Local Section. The 90 min exam, which comprises 60 questions in multiple-choice format, will be followed by a pizza/soda reception and a chemistry demonstration lecture. Calculators are allowed on the exam, but they cannot be graphing calculators. Past exams are avaiable here.

There will be cash prizes for students gaining the three highest scores on the exam. There is no upper limit on the number of students who can attend, and you are encouraged to send as many of your interested students as possible. As part of University policy, an adult that is not affiliated with the University will need to accompany the students and be there for the event. 

The top four scoring individuals will be invited back to take the full national exam (including multiple choice, short answer, and a lab practical) on Saturday, April 21.

Reminder for All High School Chemistry Teachers: Grants for Summer Conference

Posted on January 22, 2018 at 5:10 PM

The deadline is approaching…

All chemistry teachers in these 10 Wisconsin counties - Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Green Lake,

Grant, Iowa, Lafayette, Marquette, and Sauk - are eligible to apply for up to $500 support to attend this

summer’s Biennial Conference on Chemical Education. You don’t have to be a member of ACS to apply!

Who: Chemistry teachers in one of the 10 Wisconsin counties in the ACS Wisconsin Local Section

What: 25th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE). We will sponsor attendance by two high

school teachers.

Where: University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana

When: July 29 to August 2, 2018

How: Send in a brief proposal of up to 250 words that states: why you want to attend, what you could

contribute to the conference, and how the conference would help you as a teacher

Deadline: Send your proposal by February 9, 2018 to John Moore (jwmoore@chem.wisc.edu).

  • Strings attached? You need to submit your proposal (discussed above) and agree to submit a brief report after the conference.

More information

Apply now!

Wisconsin Crystal Growing Contest Registration Now Open

Posted on January 4, 2018 at 3:50 PM

Registration for the fifth state-wide Wisconsin Crystal Growing Contest is now open! The competition will take place in March-May 2018. Registration ends Feburary 20th. Register here!

This is a free-to-enter contest for highschool, middle school, and home-schooled students ages 11-18, and science teachers. It is an exciting scientific competition as well as a fun, hands-on experience in science classes.  There are great prizes (cash and books and T-shirts) and a scheduled visit to the UW-Madison campus and Chemistry Department.

All contest details are at http://wicgc.chem.wisc.edu/.

Special Opportunity for High School Chemistry Teachers

Posted on December 22, 2017 at 3:35 PM

Would you like a grant of up to $500 to attend a chemistry education conference next summer?

The 25th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE) will be held at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana from July 29 to August 2, 2018. The Wisconsin Section of the American Chemical Society will sponsor two high school teachers to attend the conference. Details about how to apply are attached to this email.

The deadline for applications is February 9, 2018, so act now! More information is available here.

2018 Outreach Volunteer Award Nominations Due 11/30

Posted on November 17, 2017 at 2:30 PM

Final Call: November 30 Deadline!

It’s time for nominations for the 2018 Outreach Volunteer Award. Submit the name of the individual or group as well as supporting information for evaluation by the chair, Arun Yethiraj (yethiraj@chem.wisc.edu) by or before the November 30 deadline. The nomination that is selected will be sent to ACS Headquarters. More information about these awards is at bit.ly/WISectionAward.

Election of 2018 Officers: Results

Posted on November 17, 2017 at 1:35 PM

Online ballots for officers were due from members on November 15. Results are listed below:

Chair-Elect 2018: John W. Moore

Treasurer 2018: Ilia Guzei

Secretary 2018: Cheri Barta

Councilor 2081-2020: Scott Wildman

Alternate Councilor 2018-2020: Nick Rossi

Poem Contest Winners and Local Officer Voting

Posted on November 8, 2017 at 11:30 AM

2017 Illustrated Poem Contest

The 2017 ACS National Chemistry Week Illustrated Poem Contest entries have been and judged. The names of the winners, their schools, and teacher’s names are below. Prizes and certificates have been sent to the winners. The winning entries were forwarded to the national competition at ACS Headquarters in DC. 

Grades 9–12

1st Prize: Eli Hendrickson, “Nature’s History Textbook”; Madison Country Day School, Michelle Kramer

Honorable Mention: Laura Gramer, “Rocks”; Portage High School, Kyle Homan

Grades 6–8

1st Prize: Olivia Cole, “Salt Weapons”; Madison Country Day School, Karla Rempe

Honorable Mention: Stella Christenson, “Nickel”; Madison Country Day School, Karla Rempe

VOTE before Nov. 15 deadline

Members of the ACS WI Local Section: If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to VOTE for 2018 Officers. Your online ballot was emailed on November 1, where you will find detailed information about accessing your unique ballot. Voting closes on Nov. 15th. If you experience any issues, please email: acs_wi_section@chem.wisc.edu 

Local Election Voting Now Open

Posted on November 3, 2017 at 4:50 PM

It’s time to VOTE!

The 2018 Wisconsin ACS Local Section election is now open: all Local Section members should have received an email ballot on Wednesday, November 1. There are five positions available for voting (Chair/Chair Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Councilor and Alternate Councilor).

  • Your email ballot has a link to information about each candidate.
  • The email also has complete information about the unique link that will access your individualized ballot. Note that your ballot is confidential and untraceable.

Voting will close on Nov. 15th. Don’t put it off—VOTE now!

Annual Banquet

Posted on October 10, 2017 at 2:05 PM

Thursday November 9th, 2017 

Imperial Garden Chinese Restaurant -  2039 Allen Boulevard

6:00 Social Hour: Wine/beer/soft drinks and Hors d’oeuvres (complimentary)

7:00 Dinner (no MSG used)

After-dinner Program

  • Presentation of ACS Awards, Local Section Awards
  • Presentation of 50- and 60-Year ACS Members 
  • Undergraduate Excellence Awards
  • Speaker: Raj Atalla (see below)

We hope you will join us for the informal social hour, dinner, talk, and celebration. The Wisconsin Section is partially subsidizing the dinner costs. The price is $30 per person, $15 for graduate students, no charge for undergraduates. Please let us know about any food allergies or restrictions.

Please make your check payable to: Wisconsin Section, American Chemical Society and send it to:

Betty Moore, ACS Wisconsin Local Section

Department of Chemistry 1101 University Avenue

Madison, WI 53706


Please reserve by or before Wednesday, November 1. Number of reservations is limited!

**Speaker: Raj Atalla**

Title: “The life cycles of cellulose as commodities and as nutrients”


Celluloses, which are the primary structural components in all plant life, have been integral parts of daily life for millennia. At the earliest, together with lesser constituents, as fuel in firewood. Later in textiles as in linens and in cottons. As rice straw fibers and as rags, they became the primary ingredients in different forms of paper; more recently wood pulps have become the primary source. Within the past two centuries celluloses have also become important feedstocks for production of regenerated cellulose fibers and films and many cellulose derivatives.

Simultaneously since the earliest domestication of ruminant animals, celluloses have been essential ingredients in their feed, whether as grasses or as other plant matter, because like starches the celluloses are homo-polymers of glucose. The ruminants can digest celluloses and associated polysaccharides more effectively than any other mammals.

As a potential source of sugars that can be fermented, the celluloses have received much attention lately as potential sources of second generation biofuels. We, at Cellulose Sciences International, have searched for and developed processes that make them more accessible to hydrolytic enzymes that convert them to fermentable monosaccharides. We have found that these same processes can also transform indigestible low value agricultural residues into highly digestible and nutritious feeds for ruminant animals. And we are embarking on building the first demonstration plant, funded by an Iowa farmers’ cooperative. It has been a multifaceted and fascinating adventure. We look forward to sharing some highlights with you.

NCW Participation for Teachers

Posted on September 18, 2017 at 3:35 PM

National Chemistry Week is October 22–28 this year. The Wisconsin Section of the American Chemical Society invites teachers in Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Lafayette, Marquette, Sauk counties to participate!

We are running an illustrated poem contest related to the National Chemistry Week theme, Chemistry Rocks! Would you and/or other teachers you know be interested? If so, encourage your students (and ask other teachers to encourage their students) to submit an illustrated poem that involves the chemistry of rocks, gemstones, crystals—anything solid and mineral.

Please click here for details about the contest and an entry form. Also, please share this information with other teachers you think would be interested.

The deadline for submission of an illustrated poem is Friday, October 20. Submissions should be sent to me, John Moore, at jwmoore@chem.wisc.edu or Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1101 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706. Children from all K–12 schools in the Wisconsin Section ACS are eligible.

If their illustrated poem is a winner, at least five students from the Wisconsin Section will receive a copy of the book, The F. John Barlow Mineral Collection. This book has full color illustrations of a broad collection of minerals in all their beauty. The top prize winner’s illustrated poem will be transmitted to the American Chemical Society headquarters and might be featured on the national ACS website and win a $300 prize. The teacher of the top prize winner will receive a salt (NaCl) crystal model from the Institute for Chemical Education.

Whether you participate in the contest or not, the Wisconsin Section would like to know your (and your fellow teachers’s) plans for National Chemistry Week/Mole Day. Use the Contact Us form on this website to let us know about what you are doing!

We invite you to participate in Wisconsin Section activities and, if you are not already a member, join our section and ACS. Our website lists many additional resources for teachers, and we encourage you to make use of them. If there is something you think we might add, please let us know.

We hope to hear from you!

John Moore, W.T. Lippincott Professor of Chemistry, Outreach Director, ACS Local Section