Meetings and Events

High School Chemistry Olympiad
March 18-19, 2020

This is just a reminder that the deadline for the $10 participation fee for the ACS High School Chemistry Olympiad is March 2nd, 2020. After March 2nd, the fee is $15 per student. Single students (not participating with their school) are $15 per student.

Registration is open now for the 2020 ACS High School Chemistry Olympiad. The Olympiad will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, March 18 and 19, 2020. Schools with 10 or more students may request to have the exam administered at their school.

The National Test will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2020 at California State University Dominguez Hills for the Local Exam top 15 scorers (must be U. S. citizens or permanent residents, with no more than two from any one school).

On Friday, May 29, 2020, the annual SCALACS High School Awards Night will recognize and honor the Local Exam winners, the National Olympiad nominees, the individual school high scorers with 10 or more participants, and their teachers.

Please follow this link to see the Contest Letter with all the details and to pay online for groups and individual students.

We look forward to having your students participate. If you have any further questions, please contact Jerry Delker, Olympiad Chair, at or Nancy Paradiso in the Section Office at


SCALACS Sponsors the
Collaborative Chemistry Conference
March 6, 2020
Moorpark College

The Southern California Section is happy to again sponsor the Collaborative Chemistry Conference on March 6th at Moorpark College. This is a FREE event, but you must register. Registration is now open. Click here to register.

Please register ASAP so CCC may get an accurate headcount for meals and be able to accommodate any specific needs. Updated building/room location, directions, & parking information will be sent out to registered attendees the week of the conference.

CCC is busy building a program full of collaboration and sharing teaching ideas that they hope you will enjoy. FREE breakfast & lunch will be provided, as well as a tour of America’s Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College through the Exotic Animal and Training Management (EATM) program:

The Keynote speaker will be Veronica Wheaton from American River College in Sacramento.

Veronica’s Abstract:
I used to begin each lecture with a quiz in an effort to check student understanding of the previous lecture material before moving forward. My thought in doing so was that I was helping students with knowledge acquisition; in reality, I found that I was actually assessing their ability to memorize what happened in the previous lecture knowing that a quiz was imminent while increasing my grading pile. I adopted my “Speed Studying” and “Can U?” techniques as a way of having students interact more during lecture, practice presenting scientific information, and assess the ability to apply the information from multiple topics through discussion. The “Speed Studying” follows the introduction to the periodic table where I have students adopt an element to use during the remainder of the course. Students interact with each other on the topic given using only their knowledge and their periodic tables in timed rotations throughout the room. The “Can U?” portion is then a follow-up written exercise where students answer a prompt from me about something they learned during their interactions. This workshop will demonstrate the techniques, give an opportunity for participants to try out the techniques, and then leave time for questions and feedback. While there is nothing fancy or technologically advanced about the techniques the students seem to benefit from the practice of speaking their scientific knowledge one on one, and beginning lecture with more activity seems to help focus throughout the remainder of the lecture.


Science History Institute Lecture
“Communicating Risk: DDT Past & Present”
Michal Meyer, Ph.D.
Editor in Chief, Distillations

Thursday, March 26, 2020
Los Angeles City College
Holmes Hall 006

855 N. Vermont Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90029

6:00 pm – Pizza
7:00 pm – Lecture

The Southern California Section is pleased to welcome Dr. Michael Meyer from Distillations Magazine at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia. Her talk includes many images from the Science History Institute’s collections and tells the story of DDT.

Biography: Michal Meyer is editor in chief of Distillations at the Science History Institute. Distillations is an online magazine that aims to connect science, culture and history. Our audience is the curious public and our magazine’s tagline is “Using Stories from Science’s Past to Understand our World.”

Michal holds a PhD and a master’s degree in history from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Michal has previously worked as a weather forecaster in New Zealand and Fiji, as magazine editor of the Jerusalem Post in Israel, and as editor of the History of Science Society Newsletter at the University of Florida.

Abstract: There are many people today who understand DDT in one dimensional terms, who, if they think about it, view it as the chemical essence of evil, a stand in for all that has been problematic with our relationship with the natural world. However, DDT has had a three dimensional past, one that involves scientists, advertisers, mothers, gardeners, and others. I will be exploring how risk was understood by these different groups from the creation of DDT as an insecticide to its banning via the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

RSVP: The lecture and pizza are free, but we do need to get a headcount for the pizza. If you’d like to attend, please email Nancy Paradiso in the Section Office at by Monday, March 23, 2020. Please indicate whether you’d like to join us for pizza or just attend the lecture.

Parking: Follow this link for a campus map to LACC.


The Southern California
Undergraduate Research Conference
April 4, 2020
Occidental College

Occidental College is excited to host this year’s ACS Southern California Undergraduate Research Conference in Chemistry and Biochemistry. Dr. Jean-Pierre Fleurial from the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), will be giving a seminar on thermoelectric materials.

The conference will take place on Saturday April 4, 2020. Abstracts are due by March 6. The deadline to register is March 24, 2020.

For more information and to register, follow this link.

Prior meetings: