“It’s Elemental” Video Contest Winners Receive Dow Grants for STEM Education in Enhanced Online News

April 7, 2011 - Midland, MI, and Philadelphia, PA

Have you ever seen a music video about the history of zinc or a reenactment of the discovery of Gadolinium? The winning students of “It’s Elemental” video contest filmed creative videos like these that depicted elements of the periodic table. The online video contest, sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) and hosted by the Chemical Heritage Foundation attracted approximately 700 entries from 36 different U.S. states. The program was designed to inspire interest in chemistry among students, one of the objectives of the United Nations–designated 2011 International Year of Chemistry (IYC).

 “Chemistry is an exciting and interactive science; that said, the level of creativity reflected in these videos was, and will continue to be, truly inspirational,” said Dr. Katie Hunt, Director, Innovation Sourcing & Sustainable Technologies at Dow and judge for It’s Elemental. “In the spirit of IYC, It’s Elemental offered students a chance to experience science education in a unique, and I hope, stimulating way. After watching these videos, I’m even more optimistic about the next generation of chemists.”

The videos were judged by a diverse group of experts, including a Nobel prize–winning scientist, leading academics, industry authors and chemistry experts.

The contest also evaluated supplementary essays submitted by teachers from the top 20 video entries. Ten winning schools were chosen based on the proposed use of Dow’s grant to improve the school’s science department. Criteria included addressing a critical need in the school’s science program, inspiring active engagement in science for all students, encouraging cross-curricular exploration, providing a focus on sustainability, innovation, and collaboration in the learning environment.

Grant funds will be used for a variety of purposes, from curriculum development to capital expenditure that will benefit multiple grade levels and scientific disciplines:

  • Berlin High School, Berlin, Conn. (“Hydrogen”)—Grant funds will support the purchase of equipment and materials to implement Understanding Environmental Sustainability, a new interdisciplinary program that explores the science of environmental solutions, such as using mushrooms for hydrocarbon decomposition and the role of plants in remediating soils contaminated by heavy metals.
  • Southwest High School, Lincoln, Neb. (“Gadolinium”)—Grant funds will be used to build a dock that increases student access to the campus’ “outdoor classroom,” a 13-acre natural area that includes a pond and diverse species of trees, plants and wildlife.
  • Drummond High School, Drummond, Wis. (“Iron”)—Grant funds will be used to develop a local water quality monitoring program for the White River.
  • Dwight Englewood School, Englewood, N.J. (“Sodium”, “Phosphorus” and “Zinc”)—Grant funds will be used to purchase spectrometers to study molecular biology.
  • Ephrata High School, Ephrata, Pa. (“Uranium”)—Grant funds will be used to purchase laboratory equipment and innovative physics and chemistry learning modules.
  • Many High School, Many, La. (“Iodine”)—Grant funds will be used to purchase laboratory equipment and a compost bin used in cross-disciplinary studies projects incorporating biology, mathematics and communications.
  • Northwood High School, Northwood, Ohio (“Oxygen”)—Grant funds will be used to purchase interactive laboratory equipment to explore the science of art materials.
  • St. Joseph’s Academy, St. Louis, Mo. (“Manganese”)—Grant funds will fund a new science laboratory and technology to study outdoor air and water quality in the community.
  • Oconomowoc High School, Oconomowoc, Wis. (“Zirconium” and “Palladium”)—Grant funds will support technologies used to explore the impacts of global climate change.
  • Charlotte Christian School, Charlotte, N.C. (“Iodine”)—Grant funds will purchase laboratory equipment for hands-on experiments.

In addition to the judging process, St. Brendan High School in Miami, Fla. was chosen as the “People’s Pick” Award winner by visitors to the It’s Elemental website for their video on indium. Grant funds will be used for the school’s first-ever science fair, a collaboration between science, English and art departments.

“The Chemical Heritage Foundation launched It’s Elemental to inspire students to explore the role chemistry plays throughout history and in our daily lives,” said Shelley Wilks Geehr, director of the Roy Eddleman Institute. “We are thrilled with the level of participation and quality of entries, and look forward to the exciting plans each of these schools have for the funds.”

All video submissions can be viewed online at www.chemheritage.org. To learn more about the International Year of Chemistry, visit www.dow.com/iyc.

About Dow

Dow combines the power of science and technology with the “Human Element” to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world’s most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow’s diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2010, Dow had annual sales of $53.7 billion and employed approximately 50,000 people worldwide. The Company’s more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 35 countries across the globe. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.

About the Chemical Heritage Foundation

The Chemical Heritage Foundation is a collections-based nonprofit organization that preserves the history and heritage of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related sciences and technologies. The collections are used to create a body of original scholarship that illuminates chemistry’s role in shaping society. In bridging science with the humanities, arts, and social sciences, CHF is committed to building a vibrant, international community of scholars; creating a rich source of traditional and emerging media; expanding the reach of our museum; and engaging the broader society through inventive public events.


The Dow Chemical Company
Greg Baldwin, +1 989 638-0745
The Chemical Heritage Foundation
Neil Gussman, +1 717 314-2494

Link to Enhanced Online News.

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