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April 24, 2013

ULM's American Chemical Society student chapter hosts Earth Day event at Black Bayou

The inaugural Earth Day event held at Black Bayou this Saturday by the ULM student chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS) met huge success.

The event enjoyed a turnout of over 300 participants with nearly 150 ULM volunteer hours invested.

"Everyone seemed to have a great time and they all said they hoped to come back for more fun next year," said Dr. Laura Beal, ULM instructor of organic chemistry.

Volunteers provided 'passports' that guided children through nine different chemistry activities and then a wildlife challenge.

Beal said, "ACS students staffed each activity and won universal praise for their enthusiasm and engagement."

When each guest had a passport completely stamped, volunteers helped the children to assemble a bag full of goodies and to pick out a cupcake from the periodic table of cupcakes.

Participants also attended three short talks given on subjects such as green chemistry by Beal, spiders by Black Bayou Lake NWR ranger Nova Clarke, and snails by ULM graduate student Charles Creech.

"Inquisitive audiences asked lots of great questions," said Beal.

Beal also said the range of attendees included "a large group of bikers who just happened to be out there, but turned out to love playing with the cornstarch ooze and wrestling the alligator provided by the Louisiana Purchase Zoological Park and Gardens."

The event also received support from Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

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