New Program:
Sponsoring Elements
Description. The primary goal of the project was to make a long-lasting statement to promote chemistry as well as learning about the history and chemistry of particular elements. Foothill College has a large periodic table on the wall outside their new science building. This science art is about 50 feet long and 15 feet high. Each element is represented by a square with the element symbol, atomic number, and a picture. Some elements are sponsored: they include a short, permanent inscription.
To support Foothill College’s science program and as part of our Section’s 60-year anniversary celebration, we wanted to sponsor two elements and provide inscriptions relevant to ACS and the elements, making a long-lasting statement to our community and promoting chemistry through learning the history and chemistry of the elements. Because the inscription remains on the periodic table as long as the art installation remains as part of the college, the sponsorship will be available to future students.
To choose elements to sponsor, we did extensive surveying of chemists. Fliers were distributed at the ACS National Meeting after a presentation by Sam Kean, author of The Disappearing Spoon, a book about elements. Local section members were polled at our meetings including our summer picnic. Finally, we used emails and our newsletter ( to encourage members to participate in our poll on Survey Monkey. 
Click here to see survey responses. Based on the results of the survey, we determined that scandium and vanadium were the most popular elements, primarily due to the fact that their chemical symbols (Sc and V) are similar to our section name: Santa Clara Valley.

    We decided on the following inscriptions:
        Scandium: ACS recognizes Lars Nilson, Discoverer of Scandium
        Vanadium: ACS honors Andrés del Río, Discoverer of Vanadium

    To celebrate the sponsorship, we had an evening of talks about the periodic table and scandium and vanadium as well as a college student poster session. Following the poster presentations and dinner, Ean Warren gave a presentation of the history and importance of the periodic table. Alex Bui, a student at Mission College, talked about scandium and Sahar Mehri talked about vanadium. About 80 people, many of them students from Foothill and Mission Colleges, attended the event. See below for pictures.

    Funding and Budgeting. The Section applied for and was granted an Innovative Project Grant (IPG) for $2,500 (Attachment 5). $2,000 was spent sponsoring the two selected  elements. The Section paid for the student meals. $500 remains which will be spent continuing the celebration at National Chemistry Week and other events.
    This event was successful in that many people participated in the poll and came to the unveiling. We received 47 responses, many with comments justifying their selections. Including the 80 people who attended the Foothill College event, about 140 people participated in one way or another. One lesson is that we should have had ACS membership applications for the students available.

  Pictures from Foothill College event
Outer hallway
  Periodic table outside science auditorium.

Periodic Table
  Periodic table at Foothill College before inscriptions. (Lois Durham for scale.)

Scandium and Vanadium
Elements scandium and vanadium, with inscriptions.

Student poster
Poster on Mercury by Matt Renner, Foothill College student.

Displayed posters
Posters by Foothill and Mission College students.

Ean Warren speaking
Presentation by Ean Warren on history and significance of the periodic table.

Sahar Mehri speaking
 Sahar Mehri, student at Mission College, giving a talk about vanadium.

    Innovative Program Grant application
    Title: Sponsorship of Elements on Periodic Table at Local College
Brief Description (400): Foothill College, a local community college, has a large Periodic Table on the wall outside their new science building. This science art is about 50 feet long and 15 feet high. Each element is represented by a square with the element symbol, atomic number, and a picture. Elements that are sponsored include an inscription. As part of our 60-year celebration, we propose to sponsor two elements and provide inscriptions relevant to ACS and the elements. Further, we will sponsor an on-campus event to recognize the elements and highlight the history of the elements along with the periodic table in general. The inscriptions will remain as long as the periodic table remains.
    What are the project's goals/objectives (1000)?
    The primary goals of the project are to celebrate our Section's 60 year anniversary by making a long-lasting statement to the community and to promote chemistry and the ACS in general as well as learning about the history and chemistry of particular elements.
    We feel that highlighting elements in a public area at a community college will encourage students to research those elements. Because the inscription remains on the table as long as the art installation remains as part of the college, the sponsorship will be available to future students.
    How is this project consistent with your local section’s strategic plan (1000)?
    One of the Section's goals is to involve our members. We put a lot of effort into providing volunteer opportunities and monthly seminars for our members. This project will involve members through a student poster contest and a survey to select elements to sponsor. Members will also be invited to an event at the college to unveil the sponsored elements, listen to a talk on the history and chemistry of the elements, and view the student posters.
T    he Section also feels strongly about reaching out to students by providing them with volunteer and learning opportunities. By sponsoring elements in a public area where thousands of students pass every school year, we hope to highlight those elements as well as the ACS. The poster session will allow the students to contribute to the event and further their knowledge of elements and the Periodic Table.
    The Section puts effort into supporting local community college teachers, particularly through our Teacher-Scholar Award for Community College Chemistry Faculty. Supporting Foothill College by sponsoring elements will not only give money to the college, but will also highlight the college's chemistry program.
    Finally, through public events like NCW and San Francisco Bay Area Science Festival, the Section provides outreach to the general public. The elements will be highlighted at NCW activities and our local seminars to further the goal of promoting the Periodic Table. The seminar and poster session attached to this event will be open to the public. We will notify the public of the event through local newspapers. We feel this will be an excellent way to highlight the Section's 60-year anniversary.
    Justify how the project is innovative for your local section or a unique one-time opportunity (1000).
    This project is innovative in that sponsoring elements provides a public highlighting of chemistry and the ACS for as long as the Periodic Table remains in place. Further, with the exception of events that feature drawings by school children, it is rare to have an activity that combines art and science.
    How will this project stimulate local section members to become and remain involved (1000)?
    This project will stimulate local section member involvement by asking them to choose elements to sponsor. We will solicit their ideas to sponsor elements, choose the top three, and then ask them to vote on the best elements. In addition, since the periodic table will remain visible for a long time, the elements, inscriptions, and ACS will also be visible.
    What is the project's plan of action? Please include probable date(s) (1000).
    1. Survey members for top three elements. (2 months)
    2. Vote on elements. (1 month)
    3. Create inscription and pay for sponsorship. (1-2 weeks)
    4. Contact university and college chemistry clubs to involve students in the poster contest.
    5. Wait for installation. (Unknown)
    6. Unveiling, seminar and poster session. (November)
    7. Make elements the theme for the year. (E.g., give pins or other gifts with the elements to speakers, incorporate the elements into NCW activities.)
Identify target audience(s) and estimate the number of people to be reached. Estimate the number of members involved in organizing the project (1000).
The target audiences will be college students, college teachers, Section members, and the public. The number of those involved is hard to estimate. We plan to announce the event to our local chemistry clubs and on our email list, Twitter account, and local newspapers. Because of the general and fun nature of this event, I expect 15-20 element suggestions and 50 votes for the top elements. I further expect 80-100 people at the unveiling, seminar and poster session.
    The majority of the funding will be used for the element sponsorship. The inscription will remain with the art installation for as long as it remains at Foothill College. Some of the funding will be used for element-themed gifts. This event needs no further funding. However, if it is successful we may continue sponsoring other similar art installations at other colleges in the area.
    How do you plan to evaluate the success of your event (500)?
    The response from the sponsorship and inscription will be difficult to gauge. However, we will consider the event a success if we meet the participation and attendance goals of the target audiences. We will also consider the event a success if the students and/or teachers at Foothill College participate in our local section activities.
    What tools will you use to measure success of event (i.e., surveys) (500)?
We will measure the success by counting participants and attendance on surveys and at the event.
    How will you use the data captured for future planning (500)?
    If we meet or exceed our goals, we will consider further sponsorships.

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