EPI•STEM Lecture Series: A talk by Professor David Katz

David Katz photoFormerly Professor Chemistry at Pima Community College,
Pima, Arizona, USA and
D A Katz consulting


Friday 8th April 12h00 to 13h00, Room A1-065


Title of Talk:

The chemistry magic of toys, polymers, food and more: 40 years of public outreach



For 40 years, this author has presented chemistry programs, hands-on activities, and workshops in many venues including schools, museums, public libraries, hotels, restaurants, fire houses, parks, and television studios to various audiences from youngsters, to professional scientists, to the gen-eral public around the world. Using varied formats, major topics have included “Chemistry in the Toy Store”, “The Science of Soap Bubbles”, “Polymers”, “Magic into Science”, “Cooking with Chemistry”, “Liquid Crystals”, and more. These presentations have resulted in the development of new activities and popularization of others, many of which are utilized in science education throughout the world today.



Biography Citation from the 2009 ACS Helen Free Award for Public Outreach:
David Katz, Professor of Chemistry at Pima Community College in Pima, Ariz., is the winner of the 2009 Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach. From developing some of today’s most common classroom chemistry ac-tivities to giving live demonstrations before international audiences, from conducting televised experiments and radio interviews, to providing a continuously updated website of educational chemistry activities, Profes-sor Katz has been a leader in performing chemistry outreach and enhancing the public understanding of chem-istry for over 30 years.
Katz earned his B.Sc. in Chemistry from Drexel University and his M.Sc. from Villanova University. Katz is an active member of the ACS and has worked to improve chemical safety and education through numerous na-tional and local activities.
A self-described “science communicator” and “expert demonstrator,” Katz has presented hundreds of chemis-try demonstrations, lectures, and seminars around the world, traveling to Cuba, Australia, Ireland, Egypt, Chi-na, Korea and other countries. He also travels the U.S. teaching workshops at local colleges, high-schools, and middle schools which teachers and parents can attend. Katz’s fascination with the chemistry of toys was the inspiration behind one of his most popular and famous presentations, “Chemistry in the Toy Store” which he has presented over 200 times.
Katz’s first published work appeared in a 1968 copy of Microchemical Journal titled, “determination of halides with ion specific electrodes” and since then his work has been featured in countless publications, including the Journal of Chemical Education. He has even had his own column in Education in Chemistry from 1990-1993. Katz has also contributed work to many textbooks and most recently re-leased his own textbook in 2005 titled “The General Chemistry Laboratory Survival Manual.” Katz now manages his own web-site, www.chymist.com, where he profiles some of his experiments and provides tips and study guides for college students studying chemistry.
From 1966 to 1993, Katz taught at the Community College of Philadelphia where he gradually rose to become Associate Professor of Chemistry. In 1991, Katz also began teaching at Cabrini College in Radnor, Pa. where he rose to the position of chairman of the department of chemistry in 1995. By the time Katz left Cabrini College in 1998 he had been teaching over 14 different chemistry and science classes. After various teaching jobs, Katz moved to Tucson, Ariz. where he began teaching at Pima Community College.
Katz’s distinguished career with the American Chemical Society began in 1981 when he joined the Philadelphia Local Section. Katz later joined the Southern Arizona Section where he eventually was elected chairman in 2005. Katz has been involved with the national ACS organization in numer-ous capacities, having served on the Division of Professional Relations, Division of History of Chemistry, Division of Chemical Health and Safety, and Division of Chemical Education. He currently serves on the ACS Committee on Chemical Safety.
Through Katz’s long and experienced career he has earned 11 different awards and honors, including the Chemical Manufacturers Association Na-tional Two-Year College Chemistry Catalyst Award for outstanding college chemistry teaching. Katz continues to teach at Pima Community College and outside of his enormously busy schedule of teaching and conducting chemistry demonstrations, he also enjoys photography, lapidary, downhill skiing and golf.