Members of the American Chemical Society at Hillsdale College held a Mole Day cel­e­bration inside of Stro­sacker Science Center last Tuesday. Abby Liebing | Courtesy

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.”