Chemagination at MARM 2011

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On a beautiful, sunny Saturday May 21st students, teachers, family and friends traveled from the New York and New Jersey areas to compete in the 9th annual American Chemical Society's Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting (MARM) Chemagination contest on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park, MD.  These students, working in teams of 2 or 3, qualified to compete on the regional level by placing First in their category at their local 2011 Chemagination contests earlier this spring.

Chemagination is an event in which high school students are asked to imagine that they are living 25 years in the future and have been invited to write an article for ChemMatters, a magazine for high school students that focuses on the role of chemistry in everyday life.  The subject of the article is: “Describe a recent breakthrough or innovation in chemistry and/or its applications that has improved the quality of people's lives today.”  The article is written to fit in one of four categories: Alternative Energy, Environment, Medicine/Healthcare, or New Materials.  In addition to the article, students must also design the cover of the magazine.

In this MARM competition, teams were evaluated and winners selected based on the quality of their article, their poster display and their ability to defend the science behind their innovation during interviews with up to four judges. 

The student teams were vying for one of the four prizes: First Place Overall, Second Place Overall, Third Place Overall, and Honorable Mention.   The prizes consisted of $125 (per team member) for First, $100 for Second, $75 for Third and $50 for Honorable Mention.  In addition, each prizewinner received a subscription to “ChemMatters” magazine complements of national ACS.  Faculty advisors also received a subscription for their school.  Chemagination” caps were distributed to students, teachers and judges to commemorate the event.

Between the various interviews, the students had a chance to mingle and meet their fellow competitors from Delaware Valley Regional High School, Hunterdon Central Regional High School and Windsor-Plainsboro HS North in New Jersey, and Garden City High School and High School for Health Professions and Human Services in New York.  They also toured the Chemistry Department at University of Maryland with chemistry graduate students Derek Denning and Romina Heymann.

The Awards ceremony took place upon the conclusion of the tour and the winners were:

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First Place

Shannon Carman, Liza Pititto and Courtney Studdert

“Liposome Utilization to Fight Cancer”,

Garden City High School

Second Place

Jessica Li, Sanjana Padmanabhan and Pranitha Rayapudi

“The Power of the Whale”,

West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North

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Third Place

Peter Chi, Anup Regunathan and Saavanth Velury

“Nature's Power Plant”,

West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North

Honorable Mention

Y-Lan Nguyen and Selina Rahman

“The Cube to the Rescue”,

High School for Health Professions and Human Services

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MARM Chemagination 2011 was sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting Executive Board of the American Chemical Society and organized by Louise Lawter and Kim Morehouse.  We wish to thank our judges Zory Glaser, Johns Hopkins University, Marta Gmurczyk, American Chemical Society, Kim Morehouse, US Food and Drugs Administration, Stefanie Sherrill, University of Maryland and Jennifer Young, American Chemical Society for their service.  

In addition we extend a special thank you to the faculty advisors who encouraged and supported their students: Dan Allen, Hunterdon Central Regional High School, NJ; Rocheli Apilan, High School for Health Professions and Human Services, NY; Steven Gordon, Garden City High School, NY; Julie Norato, West Windsor-Plainsboro HS North, NJ; Carol Peabody, Delaware Valley Regional High School, NJ.


Photo Gallery

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First Place winners  (from left) Liza Pititto, Courtney Studdert and Shannon Carman

Second Place Winners (from left) Jessica Li, Pranitha Rayapudi and Sanjana Padmanabhan


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Third Place Winners (from left) Anup Regunathan, Savanth Velury and Peter Chi


Honorable Mention (from left) Y-Lan Nguyen and Selina Rahman

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