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Chemical Bond — February 2016

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Chemical Bond logo

Vol. 67, No. 2, February 2016

Budget: we have a budget

bigdollarThe highlight of the January Board meeting is always the annual budget review. The Board considers each line item request from officers and committee chairs and attempts to fit it all within the more-or-less ironclad income expectations.

Well, ok, not so much. The Section virtually always budgets for a significant deficit, knowing that some of the requests are for events that won’t happen, and some others are significantly higher than the organizers really expect to spend. They say past performance is not a guarantee of future results, but we continually prove “them” wrong, and finish the year almost invariably with a modest surplus despite the grim deficit budget.

So it is for 2016. Just so you know, whether you attended the Board meeting or not, what the Section has in mind for 2016, the final budget is here for your perusal. Check it out, maybe find a subcommittee that sounds interesting, look up the contact info for the Chair, and get involved.

Recognition Night 2016: Reserve now

Myron Reese receiving 2015 Distinguished Service Award from Jim OBrien

Myron Reese receiving 2015 Distinguished Service Award from Jim O’Brien

Join us on Saturday, March 19th, at Bristol Seafood Grill in Creve Coeur as we celebrate and recognize those with 50 and 60 years of membership in the ACS. Bill Doub will be presented with the 2016 Distinguished Service Award for the St Louis Section. Bill has served the Section continuously in important positions dating back to the 1980s. Rhonda Woerndle will be awarded the Chemical Science & Technology Award. Rhonda is receiving this recognition not only for her scientific ability but also for her science outreach in the community. Many Past Chairs of the St Louis Section will gather, and the immediate past Chair of the Section Pegah Jalili will give an entertaining after-dinner talk.

Bristol Seafood Grill is on the northwest corner of New Ballas Road and Olive Boulevard, about three blocks east of I-270 (map).

6:00 – Reception/social hour
6:45 – Dinner
7:45 – Program: • Past Chair’s Address • Introduction of 50- and 60-year members • Distinguished Service Award presentation • Chemical Science & Technology Award presentation

RSVP by March 11 to:
Joseph Ackerman, Chair of the St Louis Section–ACS, with the following information:

Name(s) ______________________________________________________
Number attending ______ × $30 each = amount remitted $_______

Make checks payable to St Louis Section–ACS, and mail to:
Vic Lewchenko
354 Larkhill Ct
Webster Groves, MO 63119

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Midwest Award: Call for Nominations

Your assistance is solicited in identifying candidates for the 2016 Midwest Award.

The St. Louis Section of the American Chemical Society established the ACS Midwest Award in 1944 to recognize the outstanding achievements an individual made in chemistry in the Midwest Region. The award is conferred annually on a scientist who has made meritorious contributions to the advancement of pure or applied chemistry, chemical education, and the profession of chemistry. The contributions must have been made during a period of residence in the geographical area defined by the territories of the Local Sections that participate in the Midwest Regional Meeting of the ACS. These 17 Sections are listed in the programs for Midwest Regional Meetings (or call me to confirm eligibility). Nominees can work in industry, academia, government, or in private practice.

The 2016 Midwest Award will be presented at the 51th Midwest Regional ACS Meeting to be held in Manhattan KS, October 26-28, 2016 in associated with Kansas State University and the Hilton Garden Inn & Convention Center. Ceremonies feature a Midwest Award Symposium and the Midwest Award Lecture. The Award consists of a medallion and a cash honorarium; it is presented by the St. Louis Section Chair at the Midwest Awards Banquet. Conditions of this Award include that the recipient gives the Midwest Award Lecture, and attends the Midwest Awards Banquet; both events usually occur on the Thursday of the Midwest Regional Meeting – on October 27, 2016 this year.

Nominations should consist of: a nominating letter for the nominee and two or more seconding letters; a CV for the nominee; a brief biography for the nominee; and documented and objective information regarding the outstanding achievements of the nominee. If the nominee is an academician, a list of persons who have received advanced degrees under her or his direction should be provided. Activities that support the ACS in the Midwest Region constitute an added criterion. Please submit nominations electronically via a single pdf file to the e-mail address given below. All nominations must be received on or before the deadline, Thursday March 31, 2016.

If you have questions, please contact Jim O’Brien at or call (314) 757-5717 (cell).

Nominations should be directed to:
Dr. Jim O’Brien,
E-Mail address:
2016 ACS Midwest Award Coordinator, and
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Missouri-St. Louis
One University Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63121

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Saint Louis Award: Call for Nominations

Nominations are solicited for the St Louis Award, which is sponsored by the Monsanto Company and administered by the St Louis Section–ACS. Nominees should be individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the profession of chemistry and demonstrated potential to further the advancement of the chemical profession. The awardee is selected by a review committee constituted by the St Louis Section–ACS. The award, consisting of a $1,500 honorarium and a plaque, is presented at the St Louis Award Banquet, which is typically held in October during National Chemical Week.

At the time of the nomination, nominees must not have previously received the Midwest Award or any national ACS-sponsored award. Nominees must be members or affiliates of the St Louis Section of the ACS. Nomination packets received by April 30 are considered for award presentation in October.

Nomination packages (vide infra) should be prepared as a single Portable Document Format (PDF) file and sent by email to John-Stephen Taylor <>.

Nomination letters, required as an integral component of the nomination PDF-file-package, can be formally addressed to:

John-Stephen Taylor, Ph.D.
ACS Saint Louis Award Coordinator
Department of Chemistry
Campus Box 1134
Washington University
1 Brookings Drive
Saint Louis, Missouri 63130

Nomination packages (single PDF-file) should include, in this order:

I. a face page with the award name, the nominees name, and the date of the nomination;
II. a nominating letter, which includes note of any significant activities with the Local Section;
III. two additional seconding letters (not more) from individuals who have had a close professional affiliation with the nominee;
IV. a brief biography of the nominee (one page or less);
V. a concise description of the nominee’s chief accomplishments in the field (one page or less); and
VI. a list of publications and patents.

Additional details can be found at URL

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Battle of the Burets

The 2016 High School Student Event “Battle of the Burets” is set:

WHEN: Tuesday, February 16, 2016 from 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM

WHERE: Science West (New Science Bldg), Room 3300, SIU–Edwardsville (map)

DESCRIPTION: Which school has the most awesomest titrators? Find out at the Battle of the Burets, hosted this year by SIU–Edwardsville. Registration and free pizza at 5:30 pm, 1st heat at 6:00 pm, championship heat to follow.

Each school may send up to two teams of two students each. Each student will do three individual titrations; the group score is the sum of the scores for the team.

Registration deadline is 4 pm on Wednesday, Feb 10. If you are a high school chemistry teacher and you have not received an email with registration information, please contact Dr. Leah O’Brien at 618-650-3562 or

Student clothing must cover legs and feet, and splash goggles must be worn in the lab. Please park in the visitor lot (pay lot, $1/hr); reimbursement is available upon request. Download a campus map here.

Questions? Please contact Dr. Leah O’Brien at 618-650-3562 or

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You Can be a Science Fair Judge

for the St. Louis Section’s Science Fair Chemistry Awards!

Volunteer by replying to Sheryl J. Loux at (636-237-5149)

2016 Fairs the American Chemical Society (ACS) St. Louis Section are judging:

SIUE Regional Science Fair! Saturday, April 2, 2016 in the Morris University Center (#8 on campus map, park in lot E), Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), Edwardsville, IL 62026

The SIUE regional fair hosts over 200 of the finest 5th through 12th grade student projects from a ten county area. Meet at 9:30 AM and judging from 10 AM to 1 PM Judging: 5-8 grades and 9-12. (Light judges lunch buffet available.)

9AM-12 noon K-4 Participation awards (not judged), Grades 5-8, and 9-12 (not honors 9-12) Free Judges breakfast 8-9 AM.
Where: Francis Howell North High (in cafeteria), 2549 Hackman Road, Saint Charles, Mo 63303

3.) GREATER ST LOUIS SCIENCE FAIR will be Wednesday April 27, 2016
Greater St. Louis Elementary and Secondary Science Fairs located at Edgar M. Queeny Park Recreation Complex, 550 Weidman Rd, Ballwin, MO 63011 in West St. Louis County. Dinner for judges is free at site (5-6:00 PM).

Elementary (K-5) Participation Awards distributed to chemistry-related projects. Three people needed for about 1 hour each between 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM Wednesday, April 27, 2015 No Judging involved.

Secondary (6-12) Judging of chemistry-related projects 3:00 PM to 8:30 PM (Please come for at least 2.5 hours) Wednesday, April 27, 2015 All secondary judges must be present at 8:30 PM to pick winners –Please allow about 1 additional hour for this process.

Your Participation as an ACS Judge would be Greatly Appreciated!

St. Louis Section of the American Chemical Society Science Fair Chemistry Awards
2016 Co-Coordinators Sheryl Loux (, 636-237-5149 and GSM Sundaram (; (314) 258-5048)

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Howard & Sally Peters Award to Lisa Balbes

portrait, Lisa Balbes

Lisa Balbes

We take this opportunity to congratulate Lisa Balbes, Career Services Coordinator, for having been selected to receive the 2015 Howard & Sally Peters Award. (The announcement dates to last September, so this somewhat belated.)

The award, sponsored by the ACS Division of Chemistry and the Law (CHAL), “recognize[s] those making significant contributions to, and/or having significant involvement in, alternative careers in chemistry.”

In addition to Lisa’s long, selfless, and effective stewardship of the St Louis Section’s Career Services, Lisa’s professional life as Balbes Consultants has been the very definition of “alternative.” She provides technical writing/editing services as well as career management seminars at universities and ACS meetings. She writes career development columns for InChemistry and Chemical & Engineering News, and is a frequent contributor to the ACS Careers blog (but only if more than 125 posts over the past eight years qualifies as frequent). And her book, Nontraditional Careers for Chemists, makes this award particularly meta.

It’s gratifying to find that national ACS has recognized what we in the St Louis Section have known for a long time: Lisa is a gem.

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Seeking Retirees Eager to Make An Educational Impact

One of the most popular outreach programs sponsored by the St Louis ACS section is Chemistry is pHun! Sheryl is seeking a retiree to take over this rewarding program or if you would like to offer some of these programs in a school district close to where you live, please contact Sheryl J Loux by email, or 636.237.5149 to discuss the programs. Training is available.

The twenty-four Chemistry is pHun programs in calendar year 2014 — all given by Sheryl — have had an educational impact on 822 students in 10 or more schools. Program activity for the 2014-2015 school year has started strongly this fall. The program modules offered by Sheryl are “States of Matter, “Chemistry is pHun”, “What is Matter?”, Using the Scientific Method for a Science Fair Project, and “Polymers are Marvelous Molecules” (includes DNA extraction from strawberries). Sheryl thanks Don Sartor and Amy Kerkemeyer for helping with some programs.

Kids having fun and learning; is there a better way to spend a day—for them or for you?

Kids having fun and learning; is there a better way to spend a day—for them or for you?

Kids having fun and learning; is there a better way to spend a day—for them or for you?

The “States of Matter” program was designed for elementary students and is popular for the 2nd and 3nd grades. The states of matter are explored with solid, liquid, and gas states of mainly water, demonstrating the addition or release of energy in the form of heat when changing physical states. Examples of plasma are mentioned and “Gluep” is made to show a substance that has properties of both liquids and solids.

Simple equipment and simple setup serves up “States of Matter” to a large group of kids

Simple equipment and simple setup serves up “States of Matter” to a large group of kids

”Chemistry is pHun” for eighth graders demonstrated by Amy Kerkemeyer (shown) and Sheryl Loux (program Coordinator).

”Chemistry is pHun” for eighth graders demonstrated by Amy Kerkemeyer (shown) and Sheryl Loux (program Coordinator).

The “Chemistry is pHun” program is designed for grades 4-12 and covers pH, a review of states of matter, dissolution, chemical reactions, and various polymers.

Another program for grades K-3 is “What is Matter?” where the periodic table of elements is introduced and water molecules are made with marshmallows for atoms and toothpicks representing electron bonds.

Using the Scientific Method for a Science Fair Project is designed for grades 5-8, and “Polymers are Marvelous Molecules” (includes DNA extraction from strawberries) is for grades 7-12.

Of the 822 students participating this calendar year, 610 students have enjoyed the “States of Matter” program, 160 students have enjoyed the “Chemistry is pHun” program, and 52 students extracted DNA in the “Polymers are Marvelous Molecules”.

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Washington University Chemistry Tournament (WUCT)

The Washington University chapter of the national professional chemistry fraternity, Alpha Chi Sigma, is hosting the inaugural Chemistry Tournament (thus, WUCT). Teams of six high school students and one adult coach are welcome from … well … anywhere. On one day, April 2, 2016, find out if your team is the best. And better, have fun, make contacts, enjoy your visit.

trophy-1st-placeThis event is organized and hosted entirely by WUSTL undergraduate chemistry students. Complete information on the tournament format, rules, and registration materials can be found at Sponsors include your very own Saint Louis Section–ACS.

The registration fee is $60 per team. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks are provided, but teams will have to provide their own transportation and lodging if needed. The sponsors will work with local hotels and transportation companies to provide discounted prices for participants.

For questions and more information, please e-mail the WUCT Co-Directors, Harshath Gupta and Abhishek Sethi, at For details about the competition format, check the event flyer (pdf, 95 kB).

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High School Chemistry Contest

WHEN: Saturday, March 12, 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM

WHERE: University of Missouri St. Louis, Stadler Hall, Room 104 (map)

The examination is in two parts:
Part I: Multiple Choice (110 min), #2 lead pencil required
Part II: Tiebreaker (30 min)

Students compete in two divisions, Regular Division for first-year chemistry students other than advanced placement, and Advanced Division for all others. Advanced Division exam is used to determine qualifiers for the 2016 National Chemistry Olympiad Exam. Note that the USA is not sending a team to the 2016 International Chemistry Olympiad in Karachi, Pakistan, due to security concerns, but students can still earn national recognition for their performance in this contest.

Results will be sent by email. Winning students and their teachers will be guests of the Section at Awards Night (date and location TBA).

Teachers: contact HSCC Coordinator Myron Reese to enter your students.

Students who cannot attend this main testing event may come instead on Friday, March 11, 4-6:30 pm in the same location.

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National Chemistry Week

National Chemistry Week is an event sponsored by the American Chemical Society to promote public awareness of chemistry’s impact on everyday living. It’s a national, even somewhat international, celebration of our Central Science. Though celebrated at different times, chemical societies in many countries recognize a “national chemistry week.”

If you’re looking for a way to participate in National Chemistry Week in your classroom, there are demonstrations appropriate for all grade levels. Below are just some of the resources that are available on the WWW for chemistry teachers and students. Please follow all appropriate safety precautions. Have fun!

For more information check our STLACS web page

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Board of Directors

St Louis Section–ACS Board of Directors meets the second Thursday of each month, usually at the Glen Echo Country Club (map and driving directions). Meetings are open to all members, and all are encouraged to attend. Elected officers and chairs of major committees vote on questions put to the Board; others in attendance have voice but no vote.

If you want to attend for dinner, please contact the section Chair at least a week in advance. Usual cost of the dinner is $21 ($12 for post-docs and unemployed members). Bar service and dessert are optional extras. Members wishing to become active in section activities are welcomed for their first dinner as guests of the section.

Date: Feb 11
Social hour, cash bar: 5:30 pm
Business meeting: 6:30 pm (suspended for dinner when served)
Future meetings: Mar 10, Apr 14

Saint Louis University

Seminars are generally on Fridays at 12 noon in Carlo Auditorium, Tegeler Hall, unless noted otherwise. Refreshments follow. For the most up-to-date information, refer to the department’s seminar page or contact Brent Znosko,

University of Missouri–St Louis

Mondays at 4 pm in 451 Benton Hall, unless otherwise specified. Refreshments 15 minutes prior to seminar time. For timely information on visiting seminar speakers, contact the Chemistry Department, 314.516.5311, or visit the seminar schedule. The department has additional seminar series which are also accessible from this page.

Washington University

Seminars are in McMillen 311 at 4 pm unless otherwise noted. For information, consult the departmental events page. Related seminars, including endowed seminar series and the WU med school biochemistry series, are linked here as well.

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about the Chemical Bond

The Chemical Bond is published at January through May and September through December by the St Louis Section–American Chemical Society. If you would like to receive email notification when each issue is posted, you can subscribe to our email list and join the “Chemical Bond reminders” group.

Correspondence, letters to the editor, etc., should be emailed to
or mailed ℅ St Louis Section–ACS, PO Box 410192, Saint Louis, MO 63141-0192

Copyright © 2015 American Chemical Society and the St Louis Section–ACS

Editor Margaret Allen
Associate Editor Eric Ressner 314.962.6415
Assistant Editor &
Advertising Manager
Keith Stine 314.516.5346
Business Manager Donna Friedman 314.513.4388