• TSoG participates in the American Heart Association’s inaugural STEM Goes Red Conference

    January 11, 2018 | General News
  • In November, Ms. Dark and volunteer Aman Alhajaji participated in an outreach event - the American Heart Association’s inaugural STEM Goes Red conference. The Conference kicked off a mentoring program for 8th grade students from around DFW; the students were partnered with a mentor, learned about STEM fields during break out sessions at the conference, and will participate in several other opportunities with their mentor throughout the duration of the program. At the conference, the students were able to select the breakout sessions they attended, based on their interests.


    Ms. Dark led the chemistry break out session. She gave a brief lecture on thin-layer chromatography – covering how it works and how it is used in drug discovery and development. To demonstrate polarity of bonds and molecules, Ms. Dark led an activity in which students were assigned an atom, given giant rubber bands to represent bonds, and were grouped into molecules. Students had to consider the Pauling electronegativity values for both atoms in the bond to determine if the rubber band should be pulled equally or unequally between them. Then each student in the group arranged themselves and the bonds between them to form the group’s assigned molecule. This allowed the students to have a physical representation of the unequal sharing of electrons in a polar bond, then to see the polarity and net-dipole of a molecule. The students then carried out a separation on silica gel TLC plates. They separated extracts from the herbs thyme and oregano, both of which contain natural antibacterial chemicals. After developing the plates, they were able to see the photosynthetic pigments present in the extract with the naked eye, then observed the plates under a UV lamp to see the antibacterial chemicals thymol and carvacrol.

  • In November, Ms. Dark and volunteer Aman Alhajaji participated in an outreach event – the American Heart Association’s inaugural STEM Goes Red conference. The Conference kicked off a mentoring program for 8th grade students from around DFW; the students were partnered with a mentor, learned about STEM fields during break out sessions at the conference, and will participate in several other opportunities with their mentor throughout the duration of the program. At the conference, the students were able to select the breakout sessions they attended, based on their interests.

    Ms. Dark led the chemistry break out session. She gave a brief lecture on thin-layer chromatography – covering how it works and how it is used in drug discovery and development. To demonstrate polarity of bonds and molecules, Ms. Dark led an activity in which students were assigned an atom, given giant rubber bands to represent bonds, and were grouped into molecules. Students had to consider the Pauling electronegativity values for both atoms in the bond to determine if the rubber band should be pulled equally or unequally between them. Then each student in the group arranged themselves and the bonds between them to form the group’s assigned molecule. This allowed the students to have a physical representation of the unequal sharing of electrons in a polar bond, then to see the polarity and net-dipole of a molecule. The students then carried out a separation on silica gel TLC plates. They separated extracts from the herbs thyme and oregano, both of which contain natural antibacterial chemicals. After developing the plates, they were able to see the photosynthetic pigments present in the extract with the naked eye, then observed the plates under a UV lamp to see the antibacterial chemicals thymol and carvacrol.

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