The Illinois Wesleyan University student affiliate chapter of the American Chemical Society has a traveling show that performs chemistry demonstrations for grade schools, girl scout troupes and other local organizations. The traveling show is organized and performed by students led by the chapter vice-president.
Another chapter service project is Adopt-A-Highway. We have adopted a two-mile stretch of highway in Bloomington, IL and are responsible for cleaning it at least four times a year between April and November. Wearing bright orange safety vests and well-used gloves, we attack the garbage on the sides of the road with a vengeance (see photographs below).
This year, we are also attempting to develop a service project to benefit members of our own chapter. We are creating a big brother/big sister project that will pair junior and senior chemistry majors with underclassmen considering a major or minor in chemistry. We would like to pair upper- and lower-classmen with similar chemistry-related interests so that the older students can provide career and graduate school advice. Also, this program will give freshmen and sophomores someone familiar to call if they need tutoring or advice on what classes to take. In addition to the advantages to underclassmen, the big brother/big sister program will facilitate interaction between the chemistry classes and help students get to know one another.
In the past, we have also performed other service projects. One of the most popular events of the '97-'98 school year was the book fair that the chapter hosted. A retiring professor donated many of his chemistry and science-related texts and the chapter also asked for donations from other faculty members. Hundreds of chemistry, physics, math and miscellaneous books were sold for $1-2 in the two-day sale. This was a fantastic opportunity for students at the university to buy supplemental texts to help them in their classes, resources to assist in laboratory studies and writing lab reports, and books covering specific scientific processes or subjects in detail. Students and faculty in all of the science departments attended the sale; the feedback was tremendous and overwhelmingly positive.