Green Chemistry Fellowship Program
The Green Chemistry Fellow Program merges the efforts at Beyond Benign with the needs of industry by working with local college and university students and faculty through Beyond Benign's Fellowship program. One goal of the Green Chemistry Fellowship program is to generate excitement for green chemistry. This is done by talking about green chemistry to a wide range of audiences, and by expressing the importance and necessity of a sustainable world through science. Beyond Benign recruits college and university students to become the messengers of green chemistry to their local community.
Beyond Benign's Fellow program is open to all undergraduate or graduate student in the greater Boston area. As an Ambassador, the student will be the link between green chemistry and their community. Ambassadors do not have to be scientists, but are energetic and can talk to a wide audience with enthusiasm. Their goal is to generate excitement for science, so that younger students want to pursue studies in science. They will:
- Learn about green chemistry and green chemistry applications in society.
- Receive training on how to demonstrate green chemistry technologies to a K-12 audience through hands-on activities.
- Engage in at least 4 outreach activities per year by visiting local schools and/or working with local community groups.
- Document every outreach activity according to Beyond Benign protocols.
- Attend an end-of-year banquet, where they can build and expand their green chemistry network with Ambassadors from other schools and leaders in green chemistry research today.
- Have an opportunity to be awarded financial sponsorship to attend the annual ACS GCI green chemistry and engineering conference in Washington, D.C.
- Fulfill the roles of an Ambassador as listed above.
- Develop a new green chemistry outreach activity (hands-on activity, demonstration or curriculum module).
- Submit an essay on why they feel they should be considered a Beyond Benign Outreach Fellow.
- Present a poster on the developed outreach activity at the green chemistry and engineering conference.
Download a flyer on the program. You can post the flyer around your school or pass it out to your friends to recruit them for the program.
To apply to the Beyond Benign Outreach Ambassador & Fellowship program, email us. Save the document as "firstname lastname", and email the form to us using the link provided:
Listen to Florence van den Broek as she tells us why green chemistry piqued her interest and has inspired her life choices.
Read More About Fellowship Opportunities for 2015-2016
Outreach Fellows: Where are they now?:
An Interview with Derek DuPont
From 2011-2013 Derek DuPont was a Beyond Benign Outreach Fellow during his junior and senior year at Tufts University.
Currently he is working at Quanterix, a start-up company dedicated to developing ground-breaking tools in high definition diagnostics. Derek is on the team working to develop “a highly sensitive diagnostic instrument for research and eventually in vitro detection of disease biomarkers.” DuPont enjoys that everyday “he is doing something different” and is very thankful that he does not have a routine job, it makes coming to work exciting for him and he is never bored.
Before working with Beyond Benign, he “didn’t know there were organizations promoting green chemistry and didn’t think that it was something that someone in the field of chemistry could do.”
DuPont says, “I was a chemistry major and didn’t have a class on the environmental impact of chemicals. It [Beyond Benign] was a primer to my belief that research is interdisciplinary. I wanted to study something applicable with real world impact.”
Now, at Quanterix, DuPont is pulling not only from his chemistry background but also utilizing engineering and biology skills everyday. DuPont shared, “My experience as a fellow taught me a lot about teaching, working with kids, communication in general and how to effectively get an idea across to diverse audiences.”
He also says that Quanterix has allowed him to travel to Germany and France during the past year, which he says was very exciting for him because he did not study abroad during college.
Outreach Fellows: Where are they now?:
An Interview with Nicole Kawamoto
by Prasuna Cheruku
Over 100 college students have volunteered for Beyond Benign over the past six years. Nicole Kawamoto volunteered as an Outreach Fellow for Beyond Benign during her last two years at Simmons College 2009-2011. Kawamoto’s passion led her to work as an Education and Outreach Specialist at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, MD. In her role she provides science outreach to the mid-Atlantic region through their Traveling Science Program and was recently promoted to be their External Programs Manager now supervising the program.
Kawamoto said that she enjoyed how “Everyone at Beyond Benign is like family.” and how Beyond Benign gave her the opportunity to write programming. As an Outreach Fellow, she would visit middle schools and high schools in the community to educate students and teachers about green chemistry and sustainability. Through Beyond Benign, Kawamoto says that she has gained a love for informal education. Kawamoto said that there is a joy that comes to her when she has successfully helped a student realize and learn something new. “You don’t have the same bond as you do when being an everyday teacher but there is still a bond. I love seeing light bulb moments go off in the kids’ eyes when things make sense to them.” Kawamoto said. Kawamoto says that she incorporates things that she learned from Beyond Benign now and will continue to do so in the future. For more information about the great work being done by Nicole and the Maryland Science Center you can read more here: "Science sparks reactions in Gettysburg students"
High School Summer Research
Justin Baroukhian and Sammy Hijazi, two high school students from Long Island, New York spent a month this summer working in connection with Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry and Beyond Benign as research interns.
Justin and Sammy were selected and sponsored by the Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition's Students & Scientists Breast Cancer/ Environment Research Internship Program. Their research focused on whether a polymer called VBT (vinylbenzyl thymine) would work as a dye stabilizer since PCB's found in dye stabilizers have been linked to cancer. The two interns applied the polymer to fabric, irradiated it using UV light and evaluated the density of the dye using digital images. Their experimentation focused on the concentration of dye, techniques for applying the coating and drying the fabric along with variability of UV light. After less than a month of working diligently in the lab, the two interns had found that their experiment provided solid evidence that VBT coated fabrics did appear to hold the dye better than the control fabric. Through this internship, Baroukhian and Hijazi had gained experience working in a lab and were able to learn important skills such as proper lab and safety procedures and how to utilize machines such as the scanning electron microscope and UV cross linker. For both Baroukhian and Hijazi, the experience at Beyond Benign and WBI was both unforgettable and immensely rewarding. Baroukhian said "The scientists were very welcoming and took time out of their days to give advice and tell stories about how they got to where they are now. We came with a high school chemist's knowledge and left with a knowledge that was far beyond that."