Dr. Al Hazari Wows the Crowd with “Show Me the Chemistry” Presentation

The Spring 2013 seminar series ended with a bang on May 1st when Dr. Al Hazari from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville entertained and educated a diverse audience with his “Show Me the Chemistry” presentation to the Department of Chemistry.  Hazari was greeted with oohs and ahhs as he discussed a diverse array of topics from metal alloys to pH, each concept illustrated with a physical demonstration.  In his polymer demonstration, Hazari poured water into a cup containing a small amount of sodium polyacrylate, the absorbent material found in baby diapers.  Unsuspecting volunteers were on edge wondering if they would get showered when he tilted the cup over their head, only to find out that the polymer in the cup absorbed the water which is the same way the polymer functions to absorb moisture in diapers.

Hazari is the 2000 winner of the Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach from the American Chemical Society and he is currently touring the ACS circuit.  He is also Director of the Undergraduate Chemistry Labs and Lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Tennessee.  A native of Lebanon, Hazari received a B. S. degree in Chemistry from the American University in Cairo in 1968. He holds an M.S. degree in Chemistry (1972) from Youngstown State University and a Ph. D. in Science Education (1997) from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The special event, which included a light snack for those in attendance, was organized by the Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society and their Chapter Advisor, Dr. Michael Curry.  The Tuskegee Student Chapter members are Gabrielle Rivers (President), Oneisha Hall, Brittany Johnson, Sydney Baltimore (historian), Terita Tall, Alexis Jones, Parquita Jones, Tajonay Odom and Anthony Harrison.    Curry was also pinned at the seminar as the past President of the Auburn Local Section of the American Chemical Society.