Trenton ACS Local Section


April 2015

Posted by Crowe, Matthew on September 12, 2015 at 3:05 PM


April 2015

Trenton ACS Annual Awards Banquet

Come join us to honor our Chemistry Olympiad Winners, TrACS High School Scholarship Winners, 50-year members, Outstanding High School Chemistry Teachers, and Top Undergraduates at our local area colleges and universities!

Date and Time: Wednesday, May 13, social mixer 6:00 pm, dinner 6:30 pm.

Location: Tessara Restaurant: 812 Route 33 Hamilton, NJ 08619

Additional Information: If you would like to attend, the cost of Dinner for ACS Trenton members is $25, cash due at the door to the event. Dinner includes a house salad, main entrée with sides, soft drinks, followed by ice cream and coffee/tea. Choice of entrees includes Eggplant Parmigiana, Charcoal Broiled Chicken, or Homemade lasagna. Cash bar available.

Reservations must be made by May 5, 2015 to


12 Local Students Win Chance to Qualify for 2015 International Chemistry Olympiad; 1 Advances to Next Round

By Danielle L. Jacobs (USNCO Coordinator, Trenton & Princeton ACS)

The Trenton and Princeton sections of the American Chemical Society held their annual US National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO) competition between January and April.

Throughout the month of March, 250 students across 12 local high schools participated in the preliminary round of the competition, an exam consisting of 60 multiple-choice questions spanning challenging concepts in physical, inorganic, and organic chemistry. The qualifying top scorers from each high school were then invited to participate in the second round at Rider University on Sunday, April 19, 2015. This full-day exam consisted of three parts: (a) 60 multiple-choice questions (b) 8 critical thinking questions; and (c) a lab practical portion requiring students to first compose, and then execute, safe and efficient procedures for solving laboratory problems in both chromatography and titration.

The Trenton & Princeton sections are proud of our 12 local nominees, who were among approximately 1,000 nationwide who participated in the full-day exam, and represent the top 5% of the over 10,000 high school students who competed in the preliminary round across the United States. Furthermore, we are ecstatic to have just learned that Abraham Park, a junior from West Windsor Plainsboro High School South, has been chosen as one of only 20 finalists nationwide to proceed to the USNCO Study Camp, which will be held at US Air Force Academy in Colorado from June 2-17. The top four students from the two-week intensive training camp will have the honor of representing the United States in the 47th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) held in Baku, Azerbaijan, July 20-29, 2015. The US has participated in the IChO since 1984. In 2014, the US team won one gold and three silver medals, competing against a total of 291 students from 77 countries around the globe. Last year, Andrew Chen of West Windsor Plainsboro High School South represented the United States at the IChO, and we wish Abraham the best of luck as he competes for a coveted slot on this year’s team.

 All 12 finalists will be recognized at the Trenton Section Awards Banquet to be held on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at Tessara Restaurant in Hamilton, NJ:

Trenton Section:

Dennis Duan and David Xin (The Lawrenceville School) sponsored by Mary Calvert and David Laws

Nick Pittman (North Hunterdon High School) sponsored by Carolyn Wilhelm

Robert Frascella and Timothy Low-Beer (Notre Dame High School) sponsored by Robert Carroll

Princeton Section:

Stephanie Ren, Leon Wu, and Harvey Liu (Princeton High School) sponsored by Robert Corell

Viswajit Kandula and Shannon McNaul (Hillsborough High School) sponsored by Carmel Meyer

Kevin Li and Abraham Park (West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South) sponsored by Cindy Jaworsky

All of the students seemed to enjoy and value their experience participating in the National USNCO competition. We look forward to having our best high school chemistry students continue to represent our sections in the USNCO for many years to come.

Thank you to all of the high school teachers who continue to be committed to teaching chemistry in engaging and inspiring ways, while recognizing and cultivating the scientific aptitude and aspirations of their students. We thus wish to recognize the schools and teachers who participated in the 2015 USNCO local competition who were not listed above:

Dan Allen Hunterdon Central Regional High School

Madeline Cozine The Peddie School

Brian Cullen Steinert High School

Matthew Davis Lawrence High School

Karolina Fraczkowska The Hun School

Tom Horsley The Pennington School

Roxanne Spencer PRISMS of Princeton

Jason Sullivan Montgomery High School

The 2016 US National Chemistry Olympiad preparations will begin in January 2016. I will again serve as the Olympiad Coordinator for both the Trenton and Princeton Sections. The program announcement letter will be sent out to local high school chemistry teachers in early January. If you have a child in high school who is interested in taking the exam, but are unsure if your school participates, please contact me, or your child’s chemistry teacher, to ensure he or she does not get left out of next year’s competition!


Volunteer Opportunities and Virtual Scavenger Hunt

By Abby O’Connor, Trenton ACS Chair

Trenton ACS looking for volunteers to help out with Super Science Saturday

Super Science Saturday is Saturday, May 9, 2015 at the NJ State museum from 9-4pm. We need volunteers! We will have some awesome demos!

Helen Tanzini is seeking volunteers for 2 hour shifts. Please email her at by 5/3/2015 to volunteer. The following link has some information about the event in addition to directions to the NJ State Museum

The 2-hour shift times will be:

Setup: 8:30 am

9 - 11

10 - noon

11 -1pm

noon - 2

2-4pm plus cleanup

Shark Tank Program!

The Trenton ACS is seeking volunteers to help out with a new program; our version of the popular television show Shark Tank! We hope to engage students in a small business plan competition related to chemistry! Contact Abby O’Connor ( for more information by May 30th.

Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Check out our newly updated website at

Like us on Facebook at Trenton Local Section of The American Chemical Society. We will be hosting a virtual chemistry scavenger hunt starting in June to encourage membership to our page. Check our Facebook page for volunteer opportunities and photos from our events.


What has the Trenton Section been up to?

By Abby O’Connor, Trenton ACS Chair

Trenton ACS volunteers at Dutch Neck Elementary School

The Trenton ACS volunteered at the Dutch Neck Elementary School Science Day on Friday April 17th, 2015. The section demonstrated the principles of acids and bases, polymers, and carbon dioxide. We performed a number of demos for each of the first grade classes and students even got to make slime! The program was very interactive and really showed how fun, and hands-on, chemistry can be! All of the volunteers had a great time and the kids had a blast! Future chemists? Only time will tell…

Trenton ACS and TCNJ Student Affiliates Take on the Riverhorse Brewery Tour

On Sunday April 19th, 2015, members of the Trenton ACS local section and ACS student affiliates from TCNJ went on a tour of the Riverhorse Brewery. The tour included 4 beer samples and an informative talk about how beer is brewed. The students and local section members had a great time! We look forward to hosting this event again in the future.


Trenton ACS Councilor’s Report, Spring 2015

Our full councilor’s report can be found on our website. For the alembic we present the highlights from our report.

Trenton ACS (TrACS) Councilors Benny Chan and Matt Crowe attended the 249th American Chemical Society National meeting in Denver, Colorado from March 21st to March 25th, 2015, along with 13,937 other attendees. The Councilors attended the National ACS Council meeting, Committee meetings, and technical symposia.

The Dr. Crowe and Alternate Councilor Dr. Abby O’Connor participated in the new councilor orientation, while Dr. Chan and other existing councilors were recruited by to help with the orientation session.

Dr. Crowe was appointed to the Committee on Chemical Safety.

Dr. Chan was appointed to the Committee on Minority Affairs.

Dr. Crowe co-chaired a symposium with Jani Ingram (Professor, Northern Arizona University), entitled "Environmental Analytical Chemistry: A Tool for Introducing Research."

Dr. Chan chaired a symposium for Undergraduate Programs Office, “Networking 101: An Introvert’s Guide to Networking.”

At the Council Meeting: Allison A. Campbell and G. Bryan Balazs were selected be the two candidates for President-Elect to be voted upon by the members of the ACS.

The Committee on Meetings and Expositions announced that National ACS meetings have been losing money in recent years, and that meeting registration costs will be increased to reach a break-even point. The announcements resulted in a number of comments regarding the cost of technical programming versus exposition, the possible negative impact of increasing registration costs on conference attendance, the usefulness of the mobile app versus paper programs, and other approaches to increasing conference revenue in lieu of raising registration fees.

Respectfully submitted,

Dr. Benny Chan


Scholarship Awards

By Benny Chan, Chair of the Scholarship Committee

The Scholarship Committee would like to congratulate our scholarship award winners for 2015!

Arvinth Sethuraman will be receiving the Roeser Scholarship. He is currently a senior at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North and will be attending the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, as a Chemical Engineering Major.

Nisita Dutta will be receiving a Board Scholarship. She is currently a student at Hightstown High School and plans to major in chemical engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Last year’s winner of the Roeser Scholarship, Sebastian Cwalina is doing very well and is anticipated to be awarded a second year of the scholarship.

We congratulate Sebastian, Arvinth, and Nisita for their fantastic work.


Updates from the Student Affiliates

by Taylor Maney, TCNJ Student Chemists Association President

The TCNJ Student Chemists Association (SCA) had a very busy semester. Students were actively involved in the community - volunteering at Antheil Elementary Hands on Science Night, Timberlane Middle School Science Fair, and Lawrence Science Fair. “Spectroscopes and Cupcakes” and “Biodegradable Packing Peanut” demonstrations were conducted on campus for Week of Science and Earth Day, respectively. A variety of different speakers were hosted throughout the semester, along with the “Chemistry on the Silver Screen” ACS Webinar. Students attended the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s “First Friday: The Alchemist’s Cookbook” event in Philadelphia and joined Trenton local section members in touring the River Horse Brewery in a trip graciously funded by Trenton ACS. Finally, club members enjoyed a variety of different “stressbuster” activities including rock climbing, a video game night cohosted by TCNJ’s Chemistry Honor Society Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chapter, and the second annual Chemistry Semiformal, which was catered by Momma Floras. Club President Taylor Maney accepted “Outstanding Student Chapter” and “Green Chemistry” Awards on behalf of SCA at the 249th ACS National Meeting& Exposition in Denver.


Other Local Sections

Nearby ACS sections include the Princeton Section, the North Jersey Section, and the Philadelphia Section. All have diverse and interesting monthly speakers. Their speaker schedules and home pages are located online at the following sites:

Princeton Section of the ACS

Philadelphia Section of the ACS

North Jersey Section of the ACS


To Unsubscribe from The Alembic

The Alembic is the newsletter of the Trenton Section of the American Chemical Society and is sent to all 850 section members. Current regulations require that all electronic newsletters of this type include a link that allows the user to Unsubscribe. The Alembic is sent to the email address on record with the ACS.

To change the address or unsubscribe, go to

As the address list is updated by National Headquarters from time to time, and as the local section is operated by volunteers, you may be added to the email list after you unsubscribe. I regret any inconvenience.

Trenton Section

American Chemical Society

PO Box 55633

Trenton, NJ 08638


Serving Central NJ for over 50 Years


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Reply Tuwanna Rudolph
12:58 PM on January 27, 2016 
I am about to renew my membership and I am looking for a section near Bucks County PA. I came across your section on the acs website and wanted to know what day and time you usually meet. I was a member of the North Jesey section for some years and have relocated to this area. But I want to continue volunteering for organization. I may be reached at 862-888-8864. Thank you in advance for your response.
Reply Crowe, Matthew
5:43 PM on February 13, 2016 
Hello Tuwanna,
Thank you for contacting our section to learn more. It would be great to have you be a part of our section's volunteer efforts. Please contact Benny Chan (, our current chair, for specifics on how you can get involved.
Best Regards,

Tuwanna Rudolph says...
I am about to renew my membership and I am looking for a section near Bucks County PA. I came across your section on the acs website and wanted to know what day and time you usually meet. I was a member of the North Jesey section for some years and have relocated to this area. But I want to continue volunteering for organization. I may be reached at 862-888-8864. Thank you in advance for your response.