At 6:02 on Oct. 23, several Hillsdale students and members of the American Chemical Society (ACS) celebrated “Mole Day.” A mole is unit often used in chemistry that is 6.02 x 10^23 — hence the specific date and time for the celebrations.
ACS is a chemistry club on Hillsdale’s campus that is part of an international organization, and its job is to provide social outlets, like Mole Day celebrations, for students interested in Chemistry.
According to Hillsdale College’s information page about the college’s ACS chapter, “The College’s chapter of the American Chemical Society is a student-run organization dedicated to increasing the appreciation for chemistry held by students in all disciplines, as well as members of the local community. The group serves as a social and intellectual outlet for all those interested in the chemical sciences.”
Eliza Lewis holds the social chair for Hillsdale’s ACS chapter, and this is her second year celebrating Mole Day. She made little cookies shaped like moles (the animal kind) and some chips and guacamole. She said this is because 6.02 x 10^23 is also called Avogadro’s number, which sounds like avocado.
Although the Mole Day celebration was small, Hillsdale’s chapter to ACS is large and this past year received an “Outstanding” ranking.
Almost all U.S. colleges have an ACS chapter, but only 20 to 30 receive the ranking of “Outstanding,” ACS treasurer Mairead Cooper said.
“We have more members in the Hillsdale ACS than Michigan State has in their’s. And I’m pretty sure we are one of the largest clubs on campus,” Lewis said.
ACS also has very minimal fees and you don’t have to be a chemistry major to join.
“It’s $15 if you just want to be a local member. And then you pay $5 to a local chapter so we can do things like this and have pizzas at our meeting and that kind of thing,” Lewis said.
Sophie Reynolds, the historian for Hillsdale’s ACS chapter, said she enjoys being a part of the club.
“I wanted to celebrate ACS and support science with my ACS buddies,” she said. “Plus you get to know Dr. Hamilton a little better and if you need recommendations for nursing school or future medical things, he handles a lot of that.”
Mole Day is just one of the events that ACS holds. Since last week was chemistry week, they also set up scientific demonstrations in the Grewcock Student Union every day.
One day last week, members of the society held a table where they froze flowers with liquid nitrogen. After putting on gloves, the chemists dipped flowers into bins of liquid nitrogen, causing them to become brittle and able to be smashed.
Since ACS is not just limited to chemistry students, anyone can join in the club’s events and celebrations, like Mole Day, or chemistry week. And like Reynolds said, “We have pizza at our meetings which is fun.”