UOP volunteers and $10,000 in grant money from Honeywell Hometown Solutions recently helped more than 3,000 students from Chicago area middle schools learn more about science through the Chemical Educational Foundation's You Be The Chemist program.
Nearly 30 volunteers from UOP's business, a leader in refining, petrochemical and gas technology, worked with students, teachers, administrators and parents to support the regional events. Honeywell is the owner of UOP, which is based in Des Plaines.
"The You Be The Chemist program is a terrific annual event that aims to generate enthusiasm for science in the critical middle school age group," said Doug Nafis, principal scientist for UOP's Research and Development department, who helped launch the competition in the area a decade ago. "It is a fun and interactive event that engages students to learn not just about chemistry, but science as a whole."
Students in fifth to eighth grade from 38 middle schools in suburban Chicago participated in separate regional events, which are academic question-and-answer competitions. UOP volunteers staffed chemistry competitions throughout the Chicago area, including events in Des Plaines, Schaumburg, Lake Bluff, and Elgin.
The top three finalists, as well as an alternate from each region, advance to the state competition April 27 in Naperville. The national finals are in June in Philadelphia.