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Club Chem is MIT's Undergraduate
Chemistry Association. We have a
three-pronged mission statement.
First, we aim to bring MIT under-
graduates together with other MIT
undergraduates interested in
chemistry. Our second is that we
want to bring together those people
who are interested in chemistry
with faculty in the chemistry
department. This we do through
faculty dinners. These are catered
events and they are very relaxed
typically, where the professor
will talk about his research, talk
about his trajectory to getting
to where he is now; give advice,
"And that way when I give the
lecture I don't have to look at
my notes that much because I
mostly remember. . . " And it's
a chance for majors and non-
majors to get to know the professor
outside of the classroom and also
to get a feel for how chemistry
is done at MIT.
The third mission statement
we have is to bring together
undergraduates at MIT interested
in chemistry with K-12 students
in the greater-Boston area. We do
this through what we call "Magic
Shows" which are really just
chemistry demonstrations aimed
at kind of evoking an interest
in chemistry.
So one of the great things about
Club Chem is that you don't have
to be a chemist to join. I'm
actually a mechanical engineer
and I decided to join because
I'm really excited about chemistry
and I really liked the idea of
using chemistry for a magic show.
It's really cool to get the opp-
ortunity to get someone else
excited about chemistry because
its something that I really like
and so when you go to schools and
you see the kids that really get
into the science and the how-it-
works, you get really excited too!
And that's really what we're
trying to do with Club Chem;
to reach out to whoever we can
and get them excited about chemistry.
Being the faculty advisor for
Club Chem I really enjoy inter-
acting with Course 5 majors and
understanding what their
interests are, and being able to
be a resource for them to really,
allow them and help them advance
their career. You know, do they
have questions about graduate
school applications or getting
into medical school. Or how they
can use what their learning right
now to really bring about change
in their life. In addition I
really think its important to
share the excited that we have
about science with the community.
And this is my primary motivation
for being a part of Club Chem.
Thinking back to my own path and
how I developed my interest for
chemistry, I realized it was a
summation of many small exper-
iences and often one-on-one
experiences with people or science
that inspired me to take this
path. So it's very rewarded for
me personally to see that kind
of moment of inspiration in one
of the kids at our magic shows
where they look at it and they
ask you something about it and
typically its a very poignant
question and an interesting
question. And to see that develop
is truly an honor and inspiring.
It underscores the importance of
education in science.
After being here so much you want
to do something for the people
around you, you know, for the
community. You're taking the
chemistry out of MIT and that's
probably one of the main reasons
why people want to get involved
with Club Chem, is the outreach
part of it. It feels good to have
a positive impact in someone else.