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A look at the International ACS Student Chapters

by Linda Wang
August 1, 2016 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 94, Issue 31

Large group of students from pose against laboratory classroom wall.
Credit: Icesi University
Students from the Icesi University chapter gather in celebration of chemistry.
Country: Colombia
Charter Date: June 2015
Other activities: Held a chemistry event celebration and conducted an educational campaign explaining how carpooling reduces air pollution.

The American Chemical Society chartered its first ACS international student chapter in April 2014 at the Technical University of Munich. Now, the society has 26 international student chapters in 17 countries: Brazil, China, Colombia, Egypt, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.

These chapters are growing in parallel with ACS International Chemical Sciences Chapters, which now number 16 (C&EN, June 22, 2015, page 43). To remain active, student chapters need to maintain a minimum of six paid ACS members and submit a report at least once every three years.

The student chapters give international student members of ACS an opportunity to learn more about the society and its resources, build a community around chemistry, and stay engaged with ACS, says Nicole Di Fabio, manager of undergraduate programs at ACS. It’s also an opportunity for students to gain cross-cultural experiences. Some of the student chapter members, for example, have attended ACS national meetings in the U.S., where they’ve presented their research.

Here is a look at what some of these international student chapters have been up to since their formation.

Group of students from both universities pose together at interchapter meeting.
Credit: Munich and Modena
Students from the Technical University of Munich and the University of Modena & Reggio Emilia gather for an interchapter meeting.
Country: Germany
Charter Date:
April 2014
Other activities: Organized a guest lecture by a chemist from the State Office of Criminal Investigation and gave out student chapter awards for best theses in food chemistry.
Country: Italy
Charter Date: August 2014
Other activities: Organized monthly chapter meetings and invited students to share their experiences doing research abroad.
Students crouch toward floor as they adjust and text  small crash test machines.
Credit: University of Science, Malaysia
Students from the University of Science, Malaysia, chapter evaluate the performance of their crash test dummies.
Country: Malaysia
Charter Date: October 2014
Other activities: Visited the Spritzer factory chemical plant to expose members to careers in chemical engineering; organized competitions to help members sharpen their public speaking skills; attended the fall 2015 ACS national meeting in Boston; and hosted an ACS student forum to promote communication among students, academics, and industrial scientists.
Four students pose with Fish market books.
Credit: University of the West Indies
The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, chapter participated in the “Communicating Chemistry: Caribbean Cuisine” competition at the spring 2016 ACS national meeting in San Diego.
Country: Jamaica
Charter date: April 2015
Other activities: Toured Salada Foods Jamaica Ltd., one of Jamaica’s coffee manufacturers, and went on air at a local TV station to discuss the chemistry of Jamaica’s national fruit, the ackee.
Student members pose for a photo together.
Credit: University of São Paulo
Students from the University of São Paulo chapter pose for a photo.
Country: Brazil
Charter Date:
October 2015
Other activities: Hosted a roundtable, called an academic meeting to explore different chemistry topics, and participated in a science fair at a high school.
Students listen in classroom.
Credit: University of Agriculture
Members of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, chapter attend a student skills building event.
Country: Nigeria
Charter Date: August 2015
Other activities: Demonstrated the production of caramel using cassava and held a chemistry quiz competition for members.
Large group of students stand  in laboratory setting in lab coats, goggles, and hard hats while listening to their tour guide.
Credit: King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals
Students from the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals chapter visit the Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co.
Country: Saudi Arabia
Charter Date: June 2015
Other activities: Hosted a two-day molecular modeling workshop on ChemSketch, attended the fall 2015 ACS national meeting in Boston, gave talks at a local high school, visited King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology, and organized its first chemistry student research symposium.
2 students pose for picture during science day festival with matching orange shirts.
Credit: Americas Puebla
Students from the University of the Americas Puebla chapter organized outreach activities during a Science Day festival at the university.
Country: Mexico
Charter Date: October 2015
Other activities:Hosted writing workshops for undergraduate students, invited speakers to the annual Congress of Science event, and hosted a talk on sustainability and nanotechnology.


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