December 14, 2018

Gordon Chemistry Society Wins Earth Week Award

Anna Kjellson making magic. Photo by Owen Haworth.

By Angelina Ingrassia ’18
Managing Editor

This past winter, Gordon College’s student chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS) won the honor to be featured on the ACS’s website for the duration of Earth Week this spring.

ACS is an organization of chemists, researchers, educators, and such who all come together to share chemical research, new information, resources, discovers, etc. There are hundreds, if not thousands of chapters all over the country working together.

Every year ACS put out a video competition for Earth Week that all chapters can participate in.

The goals are clear: encourage people to celebrate Earth Week and become informed.

This year’s competition theme was Marine Chemistry which included everything and anything to do with the ocean and water systems. Requirements for the video included a maximum length of three minutes and the ability to be used as a tool to teach something related to marine chemistry.

For sophomore, Anna Kjellson (’20), this was perfect.

Kjellson had spent the summer of ’17 in an internship focusing on ocean acidification. It was no large task for Kjellson to make the jump between her experiences and the contest.

“I was like, how convenient! I just spent an entire summer developing a curriculum on ocean acidification… this is literally the chemistry of the ocean,” Kjellson explained.  

With the help of the Gordon ACS chapter officers, Kjellson and her team were able to condense one and a half hours of material into three minutes.

They then began to brainstorm the types of questions they wanted their film to ask. Questions like, “how do we represent this? What do we draw out? Will this be appealing to kids? Will it keep them watching?” Kjellson recalls.

ACS officers worked together to solve these questions and form the vision for their video, and concluding that each officer would be responsible for a different segment of the submission to ensure the needed information was presented clearly.

Following that, the team then headed to the beach where they presented information with charts, pictures, and diagrams on large white boards.

The submissions, titled “ABC’s of Ocean Acidification”, consisted of four different parts. After a brief overview of what ocean acidification is, the video dives in to details using each letter to guide the audience.

“Each letter stood for a different part of the process or something that was affected by ocean acidification and explaining it,” Kjellson stated. “Each segment was about a minute long.”

After a few takes and edits, the video entry was then submitted to ACS.

Gordon’s chapter heard results over winter break when the ACS contacted them to congratulate them on their win.

Their video will be displayed on the ACS website from February 1 through the end of Earth Week this spring.

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