National Chemistry Week, First-Generation College Celebration Day and M Partner Community Day

SMACS "Demos on the Drill Field" event will present chemistry demonstrations including the "screaming gummy bear," multi-colored flame tests, a liquid nitrogen cloud and an eruption of ping pong balls. Photo courtesy Megan Bean/MSU

SMACS "Demos on the Drill Field" event will present chemistry demonstrations including the "screaming gummy bear," multi-colored flame tests, a liquid nitrogen cloud and an eruption of ping pong balls. Photo courtesy Megan Bean/MSU

The Student Members of the American Chemical Society, an organization at Mississippi State University that promotes majors in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, is planning a series of activities at MSU in honor of National Chemistry Week, which begins on Saturday, Oct. 19. The theme of the event is "Marvelous Metals."

MSU will host the NCW Tailgate Extravaganza in front of the Lloyd-Ricks-Watson Building, across from the WMSV radio station, on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 10 a.m. The event takes place before the MSU football game against Louisiana State University and will include chemistry demonstrations starting at 10:45 a.m., hands-on activities, music, food, a photo booth and more.

SMACS will host a bake sale on Monday, Oct. 21, at MSU's Drill Field from 8 a.m. to noon while supplies last. Students will sell home-baked goods, as well as NCW and game day buttons, and will pass out free stickers.

The university will host "Demos on the Drill Field" on Tuesday, Oct. 22, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. SMACS will present chemistry demonstrations including the "screaming gummy bear," multi-colored flame tests, a liquid nitrogen cloud and an eruption of ping pong balls.

"Grill Out and Dunk Your Professors" will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at Lee Boulevard in front of the Colvard Student Union from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will include free burgers and hot dogs, fresh tea and lemonade for purchase and a chemistry professor dunk tank.

SMACS will host "Periodic Table Darts" on Thursday, Oct. 24, at the Drill Field from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants will draw the names of metals that they must then aim for on a periodic table dart board.

The Pittman Symposium will also take place on Thursday and will include a 1 p.m. presentation in Mitchell Memorial Library's auditorium and a 3:30 p.m. presentation in Hand Chemical Laboratory Room 1144. Charles U. Pittman Jr., MSU professor emeritus of chemistry, will conclude the symposium with a 4:50 p.m. keynote address in the library's auditorium.

The SMACS chemistry seminar will take place on Friday, Oct. 25, at 3:30 p.m. in Hand Chemical Laboratory. North Dakota State University faculty member Pingjin Zhao will hold a talk titled "Nickel-Mediated Alkyne and Amine Transformations for Greener Catalysis."

National Chemistry Week will conclude with a "Mad Scientist Escape Room" on Saturday, Oct. 26, and Sunday, Oct. 27. The event will be open to the public at Hand Chemical Laboratory from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Participants will work together to solve puzzles and experiments to "crack the code" left by a mad scientist professor, MSU's release says.

For more information on MSU's National Chemistry Week events, visit the MSU Department of Chemistry website.

USM First-Generation College Celebration Day

The University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Faculty Development is partnering with the Office of New Student and Retention Programs to promote a nationwide initiative called "First-Generation College Celebration Day," which takes place on Friday, Nov. 8.

The national Center for First-Generation Student Success launched the initiative in 2017 to honor students who are the first in their families to attend college, as well as first-generation college faculty and staff on their campuses.

Kelly Lester, director of USM's Center for Faculty Development, said in a release that 31% of USM's students are first-generation college students and 35% of faculty and staff are first-generation.

As part of the celebration, first-generation faculty and staff will receive a T-shirt with the phrase "First Gen, Too" for the day of the event. Participants will gather on the Hattiesburg and Gulf Park campuses for group photos.

NSRP will also conduct a social media campaign during the week before the event in which faculty, staff and alumni who were first-generation students can offer words of encouragement to others. NSRP will post the sayings to its Facebook page throughout the week.

For more information about First-Generation College Celebration Day, visit the Center for First-Generation Student Success website.

UM M Partner Community Day

The University of Mississippi recently announced that around 150 students will participate in community projects in Charleston, Lexington and New Albany on Tuesday, Oct. 26, for the second annual M Partner Community Day.

For the pilot phase of the M Partner initiative, faculty, staff and students have been working with the three towns to address community issues such as health and wellness promotion, economic development, and helping children pass the third-grade reading gate test.

Students can volunteer for the day of service online by clicking here. UM will provide meals and transportation, and students will return to campus by 4 p.m.

Participants can also volunteer as team leaders when they sign up. Team leaders will attend two pre-event meetings, guide volunteers through orientation sessions before the day of service and provide guidance on-site.

Volunteers will assist the Main Street Reimagined Initiative of the Charleston Main Street Association with work on beautification projects; perform landscaping at the public library and courthouse square in Lexington; and clean a New Albany community center that is being refurbished.

For more information, visit mclean.olemiss.edu.

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