2nd Annual Warner Science Slam

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OCDS and SMACS students engaged future scientists at the 2nd annual Warner Science Slam on April 18, 2016.  

The Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS) and the Organization for Cultural Diversity in Science (OCDS) volunteered at Warner Avenue Elementary school’s 2nd Annual Science Slam. Everyone who attended the event received a souvenir UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry beach ball which showcases the chemical structures that the children learned about in the “chemistry of smell” demonstrations. Over 700 children and adults attended the outreach event. Many thanks to the undergraduate and graduate student volunteers who made it happen! 

The Science Slam, organized by teachers and parents of the Warner Avenue Foundation (WAVE), also featured presentations by several other UCLA student groups and by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The event featured demonstrations, exhibits and hands-on activities for Warner Avenue students and families. Located in West Los Angeles, the school serves grades K-5 in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

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At the “chemistry of smell” demonstrations student volunteers gave children common scents to smell, such as cinnamon and vanilla, and then explained which chemicals are responsible for each of the scents. 

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Graduate students amazed children and their parents by creating “Elephant Toothpaste” which is a foamy substance caused by the rapid decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. 

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(From left) With safety gloves on, children played with the foam from the Elephant Toothpaste demonstration. While no toxic chemicals were used in the demonstrations, graduate students showed off their lab coats, goggles and rubber gloves which are always required when working in an actual lab.

The Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS) at UCLA is a student chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society, and is open to undergrads and grad students of all majors.  

The Organization for Cultural Diversity in Science (OCDS) is a physical and life sciences graduate student led group operating under the advisement of Chemistry and Biochemistry departmental chair and long-standing advisor Dr. Miguel Garcia-Garibay.

Photos by Professor Neil Garg.