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MCCC Students Celebrate Science During
National Chemistry Week


West Windsor, N.J. – Chemistry can be a thrill. That was the message that Mercer County Community College (MCCC) science students delivered at five local elementary schools during National Chemistry Week in October as they presented hands-on scientific demonstrations to more than 600 youngsters.

According to Chemistry Professor Helen Tanzini, who coordinates the annual school visits, the experiments are designed to provide a window into the workings of chemistry for a young audience that may be inspired to pursue the sciences. The benefactor for MCCC’s Chemistry Week observance is the Trenton section of the American Chemical Society, which provides funding for the materials.

More than 30 student volunteers traveled to the school sites, with an additional group helping to prepare the supplies for the road. In addition to Tanzini, faculty volunteers included Carlo Alfare (Chemistry), Lisa Dunn (Nursing), Ellen Genovesi (Biology), Diane Hilker (Biology), Jing Huang (Physics) and Ralph Papp (Physics). Two MCCC alumni, Rocco Gervasi, who now works as a physical therapist, and Yifan Zhao, who is planning to continue his studies at the graduate school level, joined the group. Several students from Rider University also volunteered.

This year, the nation’s Chemistry Week observance was recognized by the White House and Senate.  In a letter to participants, President Obama wrote: “During National Chemistry Week, I thank the professionals and volunteers who are opening eyes, sparking imaginations, and cultivating tomorrow’s leaders in chemistry. I wish our students the very best as they push themselves to think big and reach ever higher.”

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Students at Dutch Neck School, from left, Abanoub Daoud, Haley Mattson, Jihane Jean-Pierre, Rachele Weintraub, and Jude Desinor, with Chemistry Professor Helen Tanzini, who coordinates the program.
Visiting Greenwood Elementary, from left, student Richie Peroni, Biology Professor Diane Hilker, alumnus Yifan Zhao, Rider students Grace Ogungbile, Julite Quenum and Nicole Colossi, and MCCC student Dorin Cicotisan.