Greater Houston Section

  • 28 May 2021 11:38 PM | ACS GHS (Administrator)

    Merging Olefins and Acrylates in Polymer Synthesis - Benefits and Challenges

    The ACS-GHS was proud to host Dr. Eva Harth as our first seminar speaker of 2021 on May 27th. Dr. Harth is Director of the Welch Center of Excellence in Polymer Chemistry at the University of Houston, and spoke to attendees about the development of a single catalyst platform that can build polyolefin-polyacrylate block copolymers. The catalysts used by her group can move from metal insertion olefin polymerization to radical-mediated acrylate polymerization with the flip of a (light) switch! The resulting copolymers have unique mechanical properties with applications in a range of commercial products. Thanks to Dr. Harth for enthusiastically sharing her work with us, and to all our seminar attendees.

  • 21 May 2021 6:58 PM | ACS GHS (Administrator)

    2021 Student Awards Program

    The ACS-GHS 2021 Student Awards were presented on May 20th. Opening the proceedings was Dawn Friesen, 2021 ACS-GHS Chair, who welcomed the guests and managed the online Zoom event.

    The Science and Engineering Fair (SEFH) Chemistry Category winners in both the Senior and Junior Divisions were on hand to present their excellent projects. Larry Dennis, ECH Liaison, recognized the teachers and schools while presenting the student awards in each category. Congratulations to all the SEFH Students on their excellent achievement in the category of Chemistry!

    SEFH Junior Division First Place Winner

    Sophia Perone and teacher, Janice Horton

    SEFH Senior Division First Place Winner

    Zhi-Wei “Steven” Zeng and mentor, Ying Feng

    Chemistry Olympiad

    Students participating in the ACS-GHS Chemistry Olympiad were recognized for their performance and achievements. The U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO) is a multi-tiered chemistry competition in 3 stages. The Local Chemistry Olympiad Competition is open to all high school students. ACS Local Sections choose nominees for the national exam. The nominated students can participate in the National Chemistry Olympiad Competition, which involves three parts administered to more than 1,000 students nationwide.

    Top performing student(s) at each school were given a prize by the ACS-GHS beside the national competition qualifiers. This year, 221 students from 26 schools joined in the local competition.

    Only the 20 top scoring students from the National Exam qualify for the two-week Study Camp to undergo rigorous training. Based on their performance, four students are chosen to represent the U.S. at the International Chemistry Olympiad. ACS-GHS had two National Study Camp Qualifiers, Phoenix Wu and Yitian Zhu, both from Seven Lakes High School.

    Dr. Ding-Shyue (Jerry) Yang, Chemistry Olympiad Coordinator for the Greater Houston Section, presented the awards. Also acknowledged were the teachers’ efforts to make this event possible and successful.

    Many thanks to Dawn Friesen, Roxie Allen, Jerry Yang, Lisa Houston and Kerry Spilker for organizing the event. The YouTube link to the ACS-GHS Student Awards recording can be found at:

  • 18 May 2021 7:20 PM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    I am a hydrocarbon in which every carbon atom is equally bonded, or not bonded, to every other carbon. Look at my singlet 1H NMR. But I don't like keeping permanent. What compound am I?

    Answer:  It's bullvalene!


  • 01 May 2021 9:23 PM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    A summary of actions and decisions from the ACS 2021 Spring Council meeting is now available.

    Key Highlights:

    Changes to the 2022 Membership Schedule, including a reduced base dues rate of $160/year and establishment of additional dues categories and benefits packages based upon career stages, role in the chemical enterprise, and desired level of interaction by the Member with the Society.

    Updates to the ACS Strategic plan to include equity in the ACS core values of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect, and addition of a fifth Strategic Goal: ‘To Embrace and to Advance Inclusion in Chemistry’, was added to make clear that Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Respect is an ACS commitment at the same level as our long-standing four strategic goals.

    Read the Spring 2021 Councilor Talking Points here.

  • 01 May 2021 8:55 PM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    Earth Day, which takes place each year on April 22nd,  is celebrated by more than a billion people in 192 countries making it the most widely observed secular event across the globe.

    Congratulations to CCEW contest winner, Rosalia Pavelka!

    Rosalia shared:

    "I started on Saturday Apr 17th by trimming overgrown branches in my front lawn trees. I also checked all the sprinkler heads now that hotter days will soon arrive. I found about 5 that needed to be replaced and was happy to get more efficient ones at Home Depot (Rainbirds). Last, but not least, I have replaced/replanted the few bushes that died from the freezing cold spell last month. And from this campaign I was reminded to clean/wash my bird bath in the backyard. Thank you for that. Birdies can now drink clean, safe water from our patio."

    Rosalia will be receiving a $25 gift card.

    Thank you all for your participation!

  • 26 Apr 2021 8:54 PM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    Congratulations to all the 2021 Science & Engineering Fair of Houston (SEFH) winners in the Chemistry category! They will be recognized in a special awards ceremony in May.

     A special thanks to the ACS-GHS members that served as judges for the event.

  • 15 Apr 2021 11:01 AM | ACS GHS (Administrator)

    A little bit of iron cations in my life

    A little bit of cyanide anions by my side

    A little bit of water is all I need.

    What compound am I?

    Answer:  It's Prussian blue!

    Fe7(CN)18xH2O, where x = 14-16

  • 31 Mar 2021 7:02 PM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    Congratulations to all the 2021 Science & Engineering Fair of Houston (SEFH) winners in the Chemistry category! They will be recognized in a special awards ceremony in May. Watch for the announcement!

     A special thanks to the ACS-GHS members that served as judges for the event.

  • 12 Mar 2021 11:08 PM | ACS GHS (Administrator)

    I can be helpful during cold season. I like to break up phlegm and allow coughs to be productive. What compound am I?

    Answer: It's guaifenesin!


  • 20 Feb 2021 3:20 PM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    The 3rd annual IUPAC Global Women’s Breakfast event on Tuesday, February 9th was held jointly with the ACS Brazosport section. This year’s theme was Empowering Diversity in Science and included a virtual screening of the documentary "Picture a Scientist" in advance of the event. A 1 hr Zoom networking session followed by a panel discussion around the theme of discrimination and harassment faced by women and minorities in science, as highlighted in the “Picture a Scientist” documentary. Special thanks to our panelists, Carolyn Ribes, Amber Hinkle, Javoris Hollingsworth, and Kerry Spilker, for sharing their experiences and their inspiring words.

    Thanks to everyone who joined us for the 2021 Global Women’s Breakfast Networking and Panel Discussion. It was an amazing experience and wonderful opportunity to meet you all!

     ACS Diversity and Inclusion Resources (provided by Carolyn Ribes)

    In a recent letter, ACS President H.N. Cheng shared the updated emphasis on inclusion within ACS:

    I am proud to report that:

    The ACS Board voted to modify our existing core value of “Diversity, Inclusion and Respect” to include Equity. The revised core value, “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Respect” (DEIR), better captures our belief in diversity in all its forms. We embrace and encourage an inclusive chemistry enterprise and strongly support an equal and equitable environment for the practice of chemistry. In order to meet the global challenges facing us today and advance chemistry, we need to be more inclusive and respectful of people of all backgrounds, perspectives, experiences and ideas. This important update ensures that we will work to promote equity in the chemistry enterprise.

    The ACS Board voted to adopt a new goal for the ACS Strategic Plan. “Goal 5: Embrace and Advance Inclusion in Chemistry” aims to promote diversity, equity, inclusion and respect; identify and dismantle barriers to success; and create a welcoming and supportive environment so that all ACS members, employees and volunteers can thrive.

    CEN Article:  Confronting Sexual Harassment in Chemistry

    CEN Article:  Watch presentations from ‘Science of Sexual Harassment’ symposium

    ACS Webinars have had some outstanding sessions on diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect this year. For example, Fatima Dainkeh of She+ Geeks Out discusses what microaggressions are, provides every day examples, explains how they manifest, and how we can respond to them:  How to Recognize and Respond to Microaggressions

    The ACS Volunteer/National Meeting Attendee Conduct Policy can be found online at

    A recording of the Panel Discussion is also available on our YouTube Channel.

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