Boy Scout Troop 39 goes 'green' for chemistry lessons

Apr 9, 2018

Boy Scouts in Troop 39 received a lesson on “green chemistry” from Professor Irvin Levy of Gordon College in February.

Levy introduced the subject, which deals with finding ways to limit waste in the manufacturing industry, with hands-on demonstrations that showed its environmental impact.

Scouts were tasked with sorting M&Ms in two groups. One group contained all green candies and the other group consisted of all of the other colors as “waste.” The Scouts counted their results and recorded the information to determine the efficiency of their manufacturing process. At the end of the exercise, all of the “waste” M&Ms were thrown away. The simulation was designed to illustrate the concept of industry’s need to reduce waste by finding practical uses for byproducts of manufacturing instead of it going to a landfill.

Using color changing test tubes, Levy also showed the Scouts a demonstration involving acid and base properties. He also taught the Scouts how to make biodiesel from used cooking oil and campfire ashes.

“As Professor Levy pointed out to the boys, this kind of science can change the world. I hope the boys are inspired to be a part of it in whatever role suits them best,” said Aprilleigh Lauer, Troop 39 committee member.