PLU is dedicated to providing service to its members and to the scientific and Evanston/Chicago communities. We currently have four service opportunities:
Details about each of these programs can be found below.
NEW!! PLU Service Grants- PLU offers a limited number of service grants available for independently-run outreach efforts. For more information, please contact the current service chairs. The application is available for download here.
Notebook, Labcoat, and Goggle Sales- The Alpha-Gamma Chapter of PLU funds its numerous projects through the sale of laboratory notebooks, coats, and goggles purchased during the first week of each quarter (Fall, Winter, Spring) in the foyer of Tech and outside freshmen and organic labs. To volunteer , contact our Vice President. After these initial sales, notebooks, labcoats, and goggles are purchased f rom the laboratory program assistant in HG14.
Science In The Classroom (SITC), Science Outreach Program- The flagship service program
for Northwestern PLU is our science outreach program SITC, co-awarded as the "Best Educational
Outreach Program " at the 2007-2008 Graduate Student Leaders and Associations Awards Banquet.
We have teamed with eight 3rd and 4th grade classes at the
Stephen K. Hayt school to provide monthly
hands-on science experiences. With more than 50 graduate student and postdoc volunteers participating annually, we are able to work in small groups of 4-5 students per tutor, with each child able to perform his/her own
experiments. We began in February 2006, teaching four 90 minute lessons per grade over the
course of the school year and currently teach six lessons a year to both 3rd and 4th grade classes (including Special Needs and ESL sections). Each lesson has a specific theme, such as "Pressure and Gasses",
"Electricity", and "Simple Machines." The program culminates at the end of the year with all 200 students coming to Northwestern to watch a 90 minute show of exciting science experiments put on by NU graduate studen volunteers. Some photos of the 2012 SITC final show can be viewed here. To volunteer, please
contact one of our current Service Chairs.
Holiday Food and Clothing Drive- In the Fall PLU conducts an annual Holiday Food and Clothing Drive where we collect monetary, non-perishable food, and clothing donations to give to Cornerstone Community Outreach (CCO), a homeless shelter located in Chicago that offers a wide variety of social, educational, and economic programs to the needy. During our 2012 drive PLU was able to collect and donate 7 medium boxes of food & clothing and $60 in cash donations, thanks in large part to the widespread participation of students, postdoc and staff in the chemistry department. For questions or donations please contact one of our current Service Chairs. .
Trivia and Raffle Fundraiser Social- For the past two years PLU has hosted a Trivia & Raffle Fundraiser social to benefit a special cause. At the socials we hold a trivia contest to provide attendees with entertainment and raise funds by selling tickets to raffle off prizes donated from a variety of local businesses. In the past we have donated over $1000 each to both SOS Children’s Villages Illinois (SOSCVI), a network of homes for abused and neglected children located throughout the state, and to chemistry programs devastated by the March 2011 earthquake in the Pacific. On top of excellent participation of graduate students and postdocs at the event, we have had the generous support of several faculty and staff members. Given the successes of these fundraising socials the past two years, we hope to make this event an annual departmental tradition. .