International chemistry conference draws 400 educators to Kennesaw State

(Left to right) Michelle Dean, KSU; Regina Rüffler, University of Hamburg; 2015 contest…

Georgia (Aug 5, 2015)

(Left to right) Michelle Dean, KSU; Regina Rüffler, University of Hamburg; 2015 contest winner Tom Kuntzleman, Spring Arbor (Mich.) University; Yvonne Clifford, Jacob Hespeler Secondary School, Cambridge, Ont., Canada; 2013 contest winner Sally Mitchell, East Syracuse-Minoa (N.Y.) High School; and Kimberly Linenberger, KSU.

Nearly 200 presentations and workshops conducted during 23rd annual ChemEd

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Aug. 6, 2015) — Kennesaw State hosted the 23rd annual ChemEd international conference for 400 chemistry educators last week. The five-day conference, the largest of its kind, offered close to 200 presentations and workshops and drew chemistry teachers from throughout North America and Europe to the Kennesaw Campus.

Michelle Dean, conference chair and an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, said it was a week “filled with non-stop activities, with attendees choosing between several simultaneous presentations each day.”

Kimberly Linenberger, a conference coordinator, joined with fellow faculty members Heather Abbott-Lyon and Glen Meades conducting workshops to demonstrate topics that can be applied at the high school and introductory college level.

Abbott-Lyon conducted a workshop entitled “Chemistry of Meteor Surfaces,” while Meades and Linenberger’s workshop showcased an enzyme-modeling lab they have developed for a chemistry class at Kennesaw State.

“In addition to workshops, we had many local high school chemistry teachers present projects they had been working on while engaged in various professional service activities funded through opportunities provided by KSU faculty,” Linenberger said. “These collaborative programs include the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program and the U.S. Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership.”

One of the more popular events, the “So You Think You Can Demo” contest held at the Bailey Performance Center on Friday, featured interesting and fun chemistry demonstrations, such as surprising changes of color, the impact of pressure changes on everyday objects, and how the oil from an orange can pop a balloon.

Tom Kuntzleman of Spring Arbor (Mich.) University was awarded first place for his demonstration using an orange peel to pop balloons. Yvonne Clifford of Jacob Hespeler Secondary School in Cambridge, Ont., Canada, placed second and Regina Rüffler of the University of Hamburg in Germany placed third.

(Watch the finalists in action at:

The conference wrapped on Saturday with an address by American Chemical Society President-elect Donna J. Nelson, a professor of chemistry at the University of Oklahoma and science advisor the popular TV series Breaking Bad.

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 100 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 32,000 students from 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities in the country.                                                                      

—Robert S. Godlewski


Photos by Anthony Stalcup



“So You Think You Can Demo”


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit