SS Weekly Highlight

Title: NASA Ames NAI Team CAN 7 Team and Ames Astrochemistry Laboratory collaborates with Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Chemical Society for National Chemistry Week — Short Story: NASA Ames NAI CAN7 team and the Ames Astrochemistry Laboratory collaborated with the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS) for several National Chemistry Week events.  National Chemistry Week is an annual event held by the ACS to raise public awareness of the importance of chemistry in everyday life.  This year’s (October 21-27) theme was “Chemistry is Out of this Word” a natural fit for the Ames NAI CAN7 team and the Ames Astrochemistry Laboratory.

On Saturday, October 20, 2018, Dr. Andrew Mattioda coordinated with the Silicon Valley ACS for hands-on ‘astrochemistry’ activities for over 75 young children (ages 0-9 years) at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library in downtown San Jose.  These activities included “What is life?”, “Chromatography – the chemistry of color” and “Spectroscopy- the chemistry of light”.


On October 23, 2018, Ames scientists Salma Bejaoui (SSA), Lisseth Gavilan Marin (SSA), Donald Sullivan (SGE), and Andrew Mattioda (SST) along with Christine Martinez (SSA), and Taryn Kavanagh (SSA) joined with the Silicon Valley ACS to present hands-on astrochemistry activities for Mountain View High School students during their Mole Day activities.  Mole Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated by chemists on October 23 between 6:02 a.m. and 6:02 p.m., making the date 6:02 10/23 (Avogadro’s number – the mole unit – 6.02×1023 anything/mole). The student’s learned about how to identify life, how visible light spectroscopy is used in astronomy and how chromatography is used to separate different chemical compounds.  The table of NASA and ACS memorabilia was also very popular with the students.  One student exclaimed it made her day to see NASA at the event, as she has a keen interest in all things NASA.