Monday, January 5, 2015

UNL & Doane College faculty awarded grant to develop video series “SciPop Talks! Chemistry”

A grant of $25,000 has been awarded by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation to Associate Professor of Chemistry Rebecca Y. Lai; Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Chemistry at Doane College, Raychelle M. Burks; Librarian for Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics and Astronomy, Kiyomi D. Deards; and Manager of American Chemical Society Productions Adam Dylewski to team up and develop SciPop Talks! Chemistry.  This online video series will include short, high-quality videos that will focus on chemical concepts from popular entertainment.
The goal of these videos is to produce chemistry lessons that everyone can understand.  Using jargon-free language will help to engage a diverse student population and promote science awareness.  This project aligns with the mission of the Foundation’s Special Grant Program in the Chemical Sciences.

Videos will be posted on so they can be shared on social media and seen by a variety of viewers from around the world.  Each video will run around 3 to 4 minutes, enough time to be engaging but not so long that people get bored.  Scientists and researchers of UNL and Doane that are familiar with science and popular culture will be featured in these videos. 

One of the example topics given in the proposal was “The Chemistry of Smart Fabric.”  The video would tie-in with The Hunger Games and the clothing made of “smart fabric” or “wearable tech” that the characters wear. In this example the chemistry covered would be “polymeric synthetic fibers used to construct insulating fabric to keep us warm in cold weather.” 

The first video will be released on a Monday or Tuesday in early 2015.

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