Students learn about chemistry


Megan Fenwick

Emily Gibes, an animal science major going to Bakersfield College, measures out hot oil and emulsifier to mix with water and lemon fragrance to create her own lotion.

Megan Fenwick, Social Media Editor

Bakersfield College held Chem Rocks, an event to promote Chemistry and other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math(STEM) majors, on Oct. 24 in the Chemistry Courtyard of the Science and Engineering building.

The event, which ran from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., was in celebration of National Chemistry Week including food, activities and information at the various tables set up in the courtyard.

One table, dedicated to the Kern High School District, was manned by Kenelee Henderson, the Science Program Specialist for the KHSD, and Scott Oliver, a chemistry teacher at West High School. “We are here because the most critical areas for finding teachers for us is science people, is science and mathematics,” said Henderson. “I think part of that is maybe that young people that are going through school don’t really consider that as a career option.”

“We’re using national chemistry week as an excuse to get all the STEM majors together, all the disciplines together,” said Julie Lowe, a Bakersfield College chemistry professor and the main organizer of the event. Lowe, who helped run a table where students could make their own lotion by mixing hot water, oil, emulsifier, and fragrance together, hoped the event would encourage students to pursue a degree in a STEM field, particularly Chemistry.

“I’m on a committee called the Pathways Completion Committee and so the committee is trying to get students to enter a path, … get into the major, take the right classes, proceed on the road, and then finally, boom! They’ve got their degree and then they can choose whatever career they want,” she said.

Cal State Bakersfield, a silicone company called NuSil, and other STEM majors like Biology and Engineering were represented at the event, as well as a table for resources like counseling and transfer services available at BC.

Gustavo Garcia, a chemistry major at BC who ran a cotton candy machine at Chem Rocks to raise money for the American Chemical Society, believes that more students may be interested in STEM fields but may have never been introduced to them. “So for me this event is kind of like introducing people to a field that they might