The National and Local American Chemical Society have been outstanding in assisting the Da Vinci Science Center in its efforts to reach out to the students and teachers of the Lehigh Valley in numerous ways over the past 12 years. The ACS promotes chemistry in the Lehigh Valley by providing free (or low cost) resources for elementary, middle, and high school teachers and students. The programs start out with a safety review (personal and environmental), and a detailed set of instructions in preparation of class and at home projects. Via the Da Vinci Science Center’s mentoring program, they have provided these materials to all middle schools (Trexler, Harrison Morton, South Mountain and Raub). The materials are now being used to enhance interest in science and participation in the local science fairs (Penn. Jr. Acad. of Science and the Allentown School District).
The National ACS provides “giveaways” for students to test the principles of chemistry and the most enjoyed is the “Self-inflating Balloon “, where carbon dioxide is generated (the balloon gets colder as the reaction proceeds). The students are then challenged to think about a unique use of the now inflated balloon. This introduction to US Patent ideas has encouraged participation in the Science Center’s Inventors Lab, where 6 students (4th to 8th grade) have received 7 US Patents.
Just recently, the Lehigh Valley section of the American Chemical Society (LVACS) has been awarded a $2000 American Chemical Society Innovative Project Grant to support chemical innovation in Da Vinci Science Center’s Idea Lab program. The grant proposal was developed through the ongoing partnership between the Science Center and LVACS, which brings diverse chemistry experiences to young people in the community.