March 12, 2012
Chemistry Professor Is One of “Nifty Fifty”
Diane Bunce, right, works with a student during a Christmas-themed chemistry lab.
For the second time, award-winning Catholic University Professor of Chemistry Diane Bunce has been selected to participate in the “Nifty Fifty (times two)” program, which sends top researchers as speakers to middle schools and high schools throughout the Washington, D.C., region to inspire students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The Catholic University of America is among more than 100 institutions across the nation that have teamed up with the USA Science & Engineering Festival hosted by Lockheed Martin. The festival — the largest celebration of science and engineering in the country — will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., on April 28 and 29.
Bunce will give a hands-on presentation titled "Chemistry of Egg Dyeing and Other Seasonal Activities" at Mount de Sales Academy in Catonsville, Md., on April 19. The presentation is based on one she gives to her chemistry class at CUA.
“I am thrilled to be part of this great effort to engage students in the joys and wonders of science and engineering,” says Bunce. “Science is another filter for looking at the world. It is one that students don't always realize is something that they can do and which will enrich their lives whether they choose to study it formally or not.”
Bolstered by support from AT&T, the Nifty Fifty are an integral part of the USA Science & Engineering Festival’s mission to actively involve leading researchers from science and engineering institutions and organizations. Speakers were chosen by festival organizers from hundreds of applicants. More than 500 names were submitted and were culled down to the top 100.
Nifty Fifty speakers were also selected for their ability to convey the importance of science to young audiences and to the non-science public. In March and April, speakers will visit schools across the D.C. region, including Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.
In 2007, she was awarded the James Flack Norris Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Teaching of Chemistry from the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society. The American Chemical Society also awarded her the 2012 George C. Pimentel Award in Chemical Education for outstanding contributions to chemical education. She received the Advancement of Teaching Award from CUA in 2009.