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Environment

A Better Volunteer Experience

October 14, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 41

The negative impression conveyed in Arthur Bradley’s letter that all high school administrators and teachers summarily reject chemistry affiliation with industrial or university chemists is far from universal (C&EN, Aug. 19, page 2). It is to his credit that he’s reached out to share his expertise despite having been rejected.

Maybe there is a difference between high schools in metropolitan versus rural areas in the U.S., but I doubt it. For almost 40 years, at my own expense, I have volunteered and been invited into high school science classrooms in several cities and states. The topics are usually under investigation in my laboratory and range from chemistry developments in energy to those in medicine and printing, for example; the teachers indicate their choice in advance. Being invited back over the years suggests that my visits are not imposing but appreciated.

Thanks to the ACS Chemistry Ambassador and Science Coach programs, I’m sure others will experience the same professional reward that I have experienced.

Richard Partch
Hannawa Falls, N.Y.

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