1995 Annual Report to ACS

Our Section's members are spread out over a large area. This makes it difficult for members to be involved with each other. In order to compensate for this problem, our meetings are held in different locations and our Fall Social is rotated to different regions. In spite of this problem, we are able to have a large number of active members. Our main thrust is in education and through our affiliation with the Montana Academy of Sciences and the Montana Chemistry Teachers (CheMST) (high school chemistry teachers) we are able to get many of our members involved.

The Chemistry Olympiad that is now directed by Dick Holmquist is an area that is highly supported by the Section. Nearly 900 high school students throughout the state participated in the program in 1995 (appendix 3). The eight finalists who participated in the National Chemistry Olympiad received awards from the local section.

This program has been used to develop a very successful workshop, "Chemistry Concepts", for high school chemistry teachers. The workshop is supported by National Science Foundation and the Montana Section. This program was created and directed by Dr. Arnold Craig (secretary and former chair of the section). Each year a special concept is selected and developed at the central workshop. Topics have been identified from weaknesses noted in the Chemistry Olympiad examination. High school chemistry teachers participate in the central workshop at Montana State University each summer and then act as facilitators within their region. These teachers present and participate in regional workshops across the state, at the annual Montana Academy of Science, and at the MSTA state convention with CheMst (Montana Chemistry Teachers). The teachers who have participated in this program (approximately 60% of the 190 high school chemistry teachers) have been very supportive and have encouraged us to try to find funds in order to continue this program, as the grant will expire in 1996.

Dick Holmquist (director of chemistry olympiad) has been selected as our representative for the James Bryant Conant Award. Dick is very active with the Section and we all hope that he will be successful in receiving the regional award as he is certainly deserving of this recognition.

Throughout the year members have been active in helping students with research and science fair projects. In addition to providing supervision and judging of regional and state science fairs, members have supported high school students who have been active in research topics. The Section provides awards at all of the four regional science fair and the state science fair. Another area that members are involved in is providing help in presentations and support in Expanding Your Horizons. This program promotes science and mathematics opportunities for girls and young women. This program continues to grow within the state.

The members make themselves available as consultants. Under the direction of Dr. Andrea Stierle (former chair), the section has developed a list of our members expertise (appendix 3). Members have been active in numerous areas such as: safety consultants, technical applications, state and national affairs. We try to work closely with Governor Racicot, United States Senator's Baucus and Burns, and our Representative Williams (appendix 3).

National Chemistry Week, under the direction of Dr. Andrea Stierle, proved to be a big success. Our members gave classroom presentations to teachers and students. Some areas had shows and demonstrations in auditoriums and malls for the public. For example, the student affiliate at Montana Tech did two shows at the Butte Plaza Mall for several hundred people. Instructors (Drs. Don and Andrea Stierle and Doug Coe) with the help of the student affiliate presented a Chem Night at Tech with more than 100 people in attendance. They also presented programs at 10 grade schools and will continue to do additional workshops throughout the year. Many of the members that are involved in this program are also active in the VIP program. Since we do not restrict these activities to just the NCW, these people put in many hours throughout the school year. For our retired members it gives them a chance to be active and yet under no pressure from the section. We hope that the program continues to grow in future years as we are asking more members to get involved.

A grant that was written by Dr. Craig has been approved for implementation in 1996 for high school science teachers. This is a cooperative effort between the Montana University System, the Eisenhower program, and the Montana ACS Section. The program is dealing with technology and the use of Texas Instrument's Calculator Base Laboratory (CBL System). Teachers will learn how to use the instrument in numerous experiments and will be expected to develop additional experiments using the CBL System. These will be shared with other teachers through telecommunication, via e-mail, and the internet. The first workshop is scheduled to be held in Libby in late March (appendix 3).

Finally, another successful Fall Social was held at Montana State University in October. In addition to the executive meeting, a general meeting was held prior to our ACS Tour Speaker, Dr. Dean Martin, University of Southern Florida. His topic on "Why We Live So Long" was well received and gave us all considerable food for thought as to how we conduct our lives.

In conclusion, it was an honor that the Montana Section had a recipient of the Minority Program Scholarship. Rebecca Flatmouth of Little Bighorn College is excited in receiving the scholarship and hopes that she is successful in completing her education in pharmacy.

The section is working with the Montana Academy of Sciences in preparing a "Meeting in Miniature" at the University of Montana under the direction of Dr. Ed Waali (former chair). We anticipate 20 to 40 papers will be presented at this meeting, in addition to having an executive and general meeting. This year of 1996 should be an interesting year for the section.