ELAC’s Chemistry, Biology Club garner awards

By Desiree Lopez

East Los Angeles College Priory of Biology and Chemistry club wins “Outstanding” and “Green Chemistry” Awards at the American Chemical Society National Awards Competition last Sunday at Dallas, Texas.

The POBC club won two out of the four awards given at the ACS National Awards Competition.

The POBC club competed against schools such as Pepperdine University and the University of California, Los Angeles.

“I am pretty proud that POBC made it on the list, I felt pretty nervous even if I had competed previous years,” Club Vice President Millie Szeto said.

The POBC club introduced a filtrating system to students at Brightwood Elementary School by building a homemade filter made up of gravel and sand, which earned them the “Green Chemistry” award.

The club won the “Outstanding” award by working on projects that teaches students basic fundamentals of chemistry such as, safety laboratory procedures and the scientific method at elementary schools.

POBC is currently working with high schools and teaching them about organic chemistry through smell, a concept created when one of the speakers for the club, Dr. Rios from University of California, San Diego.

“The fact that a small club could win such prestigious awards is very flattering. Everyone in the club helps out, but the brainchild of the  club is Dr. Rivera,” Szeto said.

Club president Julianna Jimenez was unable to attend the award ceremony. Vice President Szeto accepted the awards. The clubs advisers are Dr. Armando Rivera and Dr. Kirk Olsen.

Consisting of 15 members, which include President Jimenez, Vice President Szeto and Edwin Hernandez and Secretary Marco Lopez, Treasurer Daniel Vega, and delegates Erin Gerardo, Xingyu Lu, and Hever Castellanos.

The club sends in an end of the year report, which includes photos and documentation about what the club did throughout the year to the ACS National Awards.

One that included bringing awareness during their community outreach on how to incorporate a green environment by recycling and filtering.

POBC is currently working with Eastmont Community Center, a center for underprivileged children, bringing knowledge to a younger crowd in the same way they did for Brightwood Elementary the previous year.

The club calls this event “The Chemistry Magic Show,” creating fun experiments for the attendees.

“Chemistry is one of the fields that demands long hours of study and commitment. These students have shown they can balance academic with extracurricular activities,” Co-adviser Dr. Rivera said. “I’m most proud because the awards were given mostly for service that our students provide to the community, and giving back is always important and essence to succeed in a science career.”

The POBS club meets every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month at 12:15-1 p.m. in room H8-117.

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