Earth Day 2008 was celebrated on April 19, 2008, co-sponsored by the Midland Section, the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art, the Whiting Forest, and the Chippewa Nature Center. An Earth Day Expo science fair event was held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Midland Center for the Arts, which houses the Dow Museum. A variety of booths were available for hands-on activities, many of which were focused on water-related activities, in keeping with the ACS National theme of "Streaming Chemistry."
A special feature of the event was the continuous showing of the Great Lakes Environmental Student Film Festival winners from 2008. This festival is sponsored by Delta College and is open to middle school, high school, and college students. Entry forms were provided for anyone who wants to compete for the 2009 festival. The first place winner in each Feature (up to 30 minute) video category will receive $1000 and in the Public Service Announcement category $500 award and will be able to show their work at the Film Festival at the Bay City State Theatre. The first place winners in the photographic competition will receive a $500 award. Recognition will be awarded in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd Categories.
Another special event was two showings of "Animals of the Rain Forest," a Michigan-based traveling exhibit. This show featured live animals and emphasized the importance of the rainforest, diversity of its habitats, and the impact of deforestation. The Midland Recycling Center and Landfill, the Little Forks Conservancy, and the Chippewa Nature Center all had booths with hands-on activities. The Dow Museum had an interactive game set up in the theatre lobby, where kids could "be" a water drop and could experience becoming a cloud and raining on the earth and eventually completing the whole water cycle, with an accompanying coloring book page. The Appledore, a Bay City-docked 85-ft research schooner, was represented by a booth that showed the projects they are doing and how the community can learn from their cruises and demonstrations. They handed out imprinted water bottles to fill with tap water as a re-usable alternative to "store-bought" bottled water.
The Midland Local Section partnered with the select classrooms (3rd, 4th, and 5th grade) in the Midland Public School System to participate in the Chemists Celebrate Earth Day Haiku contest. We displayed the 46 entries at our ACS booth. We selected 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners and submitted our first-place entry to National ACS for judging. Our booth also had hands-on chemistry showing the amazing properties of water, including water tension, wettability (or not) of sand, how to create a vortex, water absorbency of diapers, and PVA dinosaurs that expand in water. There was also a nine question quiz about the Earth's bodies of water. Participants all received stickers and issues of ACS's Celebrating Chemistry. The Midland Section provided pizza and soda for the presenters.
Over 500 people participated in the Earth Day event, despite the fact that this was the first Saturday with nice weather in Midland.
The 2009 Earth Day event will be held on April 18 in the Lobby and Garden Room at the Midland Center for the Arts from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The theme this year is "Air - The Sky Is the Limit." This is a free event for the public, with displays and demonstrations from providers such as Chippewa Nature Center, the Recycling Center, Dow Corning Solar Cars, and Little Forks Conservancy. Bring the family and have some fun! For more information, contact Gretchen Kohl, email@example.com.