Chemistry Festival in a Kit 2.0: Fun Science with Water by American Chemical Society (ACS) Malaysia Chapter Carried Nationwide Efforts to Chemistry Outreach
By: ChM. Dr. Mohd Sukor Su’ait and Hasrinah Hasbullah
Due to the success and overwhelming positive responses from all the online participants and parents of the Chemistry Festival in a Kit 2021, American Chemical Society (ACS) Malaysia International Chemical Sciences Chapter (ACS Malaysia Chapter) continued the outreach effort in 2022 till March 2023 with Chemistry Festival in a Kit 2.0 (ChemFest 2022). ChemFest 2022 was conducted with the support of approved funding from ACS Chemistry Festival grant amounting to USD 3000 and led by the National Director, Dr. Hasrinah Hasbullah as well as co-director, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Stephanie Chan. Considering the nationwide lockdown had been lifted in Malaysia, in addition to the online session, the Chemistry Kits were also being brought to the area with limited internet access for physical on-site events by the volunteers. The event was in collaboration with iDiscoveryWorld that assisted in preparing the chemistry kits with this year’s theme “Fun Science with Water”. This year’s theme focuses on Water Science aligned with United Nation Sustainable Development Goal Number 6: Clean Water and Sanitation. This is a continuous engagement effort of ACS in science education and awareness to the children especially in the rural area and low income community.
The outreach program kickstarter was a physical session in the East Coast of Malaysia, on 16th November 2022. It was conducted in Sekolah Kebangsaan Lubok Bongor, Jeli, Kelantan with on-site lead volunteer, ChM. Dr. Krishna Veni and 8 other volunteers. The volunteers brought the customised kits for primary school to 100 students and conducted 3 water related experiments with them. The experiments were “Water Surface Tension”, “Acid and base pH” and the fun “Slime Making”. Besides conducting the fun experiments, the theory and chemistry behind each experiment were diligently explained by the volunteers to the students. The Chemistry Festival primary school kits were again being brought to a rural area, and this time to Sekolah Kebangsaan Jenderam Hilir in Sepang, Selangor on 30th November 2022. Chair of ACS Malaysia Chapter, ChM. Dr. Mohd Sukor Su’ait, himself, led this physical session with 14 volunteers from ACS UKM Student Chapter. The event was in conjunction with science week involving mainly students from indigenous people and B40 families. There were 60 primary school students of standard 4 to 6.
Physical on-site events had limitations to reach nationwide, hence, the finale of Chemistry Festival 2022 was conducted virtually on 25th February 2023. The event was officiated by Dr. Sukor, in the presence of Dr. Hasrinah, and of approximately one hundred attendees nationwide in Zoom and in ACS Malaysia Facebook live. In his speech, Dr. Sukor congratulated the organizing committee of 25 volunteers, involving the ACS members from public and private institutions in Malaysia as well as volunteers from the ACS student’s chapters, on their continuous efforts to spark the teenagers interest in chemistry-related careers for their future at the same time, boost ACS global presence in Malaysia. Dr. Hasrinah in her welcoming remark stressed on the importance of water and mentioned that “It is important to learn the properties and the behaviors of water, for children to appreciate and further understand the concept of sustainable water management.” Hence, for Chemistry Festival 2022, ACS Malaysia Chapter had carefully chosen water related fun experiments to enhance the children’s knowledge of water behaviors and properties. Since the physical session and 2021 online session catered for primary school students, this online ChemFest 2022 had selected 90 secondary students to participate in the Zoom session to conduct the experiments using the Kits they received at their doorstep together with the volunteers. They were ranging from form 1 to form 3 students. For these secondary participants, their kits contained 3 experiments of higher level in science and chemistry theory as compared to the primary school kits. The experiments involved were “Rainbow Chromatography”, “Identify Impurities in Water”, and “Building Lava Lamp”. At the end of each experiment, students were quizzed and they had the opportunity to win some prizes. During the closing session, participants shared their thoughts on the online session and in general, everyone find the online experiments were not only fun but very informative and one of the participants, a form one student, Ms. Mohanashreya even mentioned that she was excited to join the session since she was able to learn in depth science that was not taught during class and expressed her enthusiasm to join such events in the future.
In conclusion, Chemistry Festival 2022, had reached nationwide and the initiative to instill the participants’ interest in chemistry in general and enhance their knowledge and appreciation especially related to water, were successfully conducted. However, this is a continuous effort and we hope all children around Malaysia will be more excited to join other outreach events by ACS Malaysia in the near future. Are you ready for ChemFest 2023? For more information please contact; Mohd. Sukor Su’ait and Hasrinah Hasbullah, ACS Malaysia Chapter, at email@example.com.Share on: