In 2017, group members Nicole Behnke and Kaitlyn Lovato started the first extension chapter of Fun with Chemistry at Rice University, an outreach program that uses exciting and educational experiments to inspire K–12 students to pursue careers in STEM.
The Fun with Chemistry pro- gram was founded in 2014 by Kate Biberdorf, a chemistry lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin. After working with Biberdorf as an undergraduate, Nicole Behnke joined the Rice chemistry depart- ment for her graduate studies and started a collaboration to expand Fun with Chemistry. László Kürti, associate professor of chemistry at Rice, is the faculty sponsor. Kürti and Biberdorf secured a $75,000 Welch Foundation grant to sup- port outreach events for both Rice and UT over three years.
The Rice University Fun with Chemistry chapter is managed by graduate students Nicole Behnke, Kaitlyn Lovato and Katie Miller with the help of graduate and undergraduate student volunteers.
The mission of Fun with Chemistry is to ignite, inspire and motivate young students to develop a passion for science with the hope that they will pursue careers in STEM. To do this, the program introduces educational topics and then conducts hands- on experiments that reinforce and elaborate on the lesson. The program is designed to appeal to students who are intimidated by science or attend schools that do not have the resources to con- duct captivating experiments. Specifically, the program targets schools with high minority and disadvantaged socioeconomic populations.
More at: https://publicaffairs.rice.edu/sites/g/files/bxs501/f/pdf/ral/RALwinter19.pdf
Rice Chapter “Fun with Chemistry” Website: https://www.ricefunwithchem.com