Fifth-year Craven Early College (CEC) students Emily Chance and Sar Oo attended the 253rd national meeting of the American Chemical Society held in April in San Francisco, Ca. Chance and Oo and Craven Community College instructor Don Carpenetti presented, “Evaluation and refinement of the procedure used to prepare training samples for arson detection K-9s.”
This chemistry honors program project started in 2015 by former Craven CC students Sydney Giammona and Nicole Miller. The project has been a collaborative effort between the students, New Bern Fire Department Marshal Danny Miller, and Darby who is a female K-9 arson dog trained as an accelerant detection canine.
According to Hill, the collaboration between the fire department and chemistry program has achieved the fire department’s goals of acquiring training fuel that is consistent, readily available and affordable. “We appreciate the help for the training fuel,” said Hill
In fall 2016, Chance picked up where the previous students left off as part of her honors project in chemistry class. Oo assisted Chance with the laboratory experiments and making of the training fuel. The students spent extra time out of class to complete the project.
Chance and Oo said they enjoyed learning more about chemistry and its many educational and career opportunities at the conference. They also had some time to tour San Francisco, including “dragging” their chemistry instructor around a nine-story mall according to Oo.
Carpenetti also presented, “Reciprocal peer tutoring in general chemistry: Benefits to information retention and lowered student test anxiety,” to his peers at the chemistry conference.
Chance and Oo are both graduating from CEC in May with honors and as members of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society.
Chance will graduate with her high school diploma, and an associate degree in arts, general education and science. She will attend N.C. State in the fall to study chemistry and forensics. “After receiving my bachelor’s degree, I would like to enlist in the military,” said Chance.
Oo will graduate with her high school diploma, and an associate degree in arts and science. She will attend Elizabeth City State in the fall to study pharmaceutical science. After college, Oo said she would like to be a researcher.
The week before the chemistry conference, Carpenetti was honored in Los Angeles as a 2017 National Science Teachers Association (NTSA) award winner in the college level category. The chemistry project was one of the abstracts he submitted in his application for the annual award. “These teachers and science education professionals have shown tremendous dedication and commitment to their students and to science education,” noted NSTA President Mary Gromko.
Carpenetti plans to continue to recruit future students to continue working on this project. Carpenetti said there is more to learn. “When you conduct one experiment, it usually creates three or four more,” he said.
Deborah Kania is the director of marketing, communications and development liaison at Craven Community College.
Article originally appeared in New Bern Sun Journal.