Later that afternoon and evening, students enjoyed the liquid nitrogen ice-cream snack break and played Chemistry Jeopardy, a game replete with science demos and lively discussions, during which students were reported to be “very engaged and competitive.” The night wound down with a plethora of activities, such as table tennis, pick-up soccer and basketball and a movie.
On the second day, the students returned to LPSC for another lab experience, where they tested the food dye concentration in various powdered drink mixes (Kool-Aid, Gatorade, Powerade, Lemonade) through analytical and spectroscopic methods.
Before heading home, students discussed how chemistry impacts the current world and our daily lives, provided feedback on the camp and talked about their dreams and future plans. A few students expressed strong interest in attending OSU. They gave high marks to both the liquid nitrogen ice cream experiment, with its instant gratification of “eating what you make,” as well as the action-packed Chemistry Jeopardy on Saturday night.
As organizer Jose Garcia put it, "I think they really enjoyed their time on campus, in the dorms, in the chemistry labs, on the intramural fields, and on campus in general. This served as a great sneak peek at what it may be like to be a college student for them, and a taste for what chemistry is all about.”
Parents almost immediately provided positive feedback after their campers returned home.
“Thank you for welcoming my son,” wrote mother Tanya Perez. “He came home very excited about college and said he enjoyed the camp and had lots of fun.”
Fang hopes that the Juntos Chemistry Camp, with two successful runs in 2017 and 2018, can continue on an annual basis with more students from across the State of Oregon. The camp meets a community-identified, critical need for STEM education and outreach to underserved minorities.
“This overnight outreach event enables us to directly impact the young learners and future workforce with a STEM focus, providing ideas, examples, and opportunities for these bright students to embrace a career that they may not initially consider possible. Throughout the two-day action-packed Camp, we have laughed, worked, refreshed, exercised, dined, discussed, and competed together, and felt more confident and hopeful moving forward and reaching new heights.”