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Widener Wins Inaugural Chemistry Wars


Widener University’s Chemistry Club has captured first prize in Chemistry Wars 2014 co-hosted by Temple University and the University of the Sciences.This inaugural competition pitted students from seven area institutions against one another in relay races and challenges that tested their knowledge of chemistry and their ability to work together as a team.

The relay events asked participants to titrate a beaker of acid without over titrating it, build an assigned molecule out of materials provided and solve a conversion problem like how long it would take light to reach the moon given the students' knowledge of the speed of light.chem club

While all challenges required teamwork, the final event demanded it. Using their hands, all 10 team members formed a human knot, which they needed to untangle without breaking hold. Widener's team untangled in under five seconds, securing first place overall in the Chemistry Wars.

"I was impressed with our team throughout the competition," said Dr. Louise Liable-Sands, associate professor and co-adviser of the Widener Chemistry Club. "Our students were able to tackle the chemistry challenges with confidence; they had the right answers and came to them quickly. In addition, they displayed great teamwork and camaraderie."

Liable-Sands also captured a first place for Widener in the professor competition, which required her to perform a series of chemistry-related challenges.

The winning members of the Widener student team are Justin DeLade, a senior chemistry major from Hellertown, Pa.; C.J. Hall, a sophomore chemical engineering major from Ridley Park, Pa.; Alex Miele, a junior chemistry major from Holmes, Pa.; Tara Moken, a junior chemical engineering major from Somerdale, N.J.; Tyler Rank, a senior chemistry major from Wyommissing, Pa.; Paul St. Marie, a senior chemistry major from Port Reading, N.J; Sam Tatum, a senior chemistry major from Allentown, Pa.; Rebecca Vaders, a sophomore chemistry major from Northumberland, Pa.; Jeff Waters, a senior chemistry and chemical engineering dual major from Landenberg, Pa.; and Emily Zidanic, a senior chemical engineering major from Fort Washington, Md.

In addition to Liable-Sands, Dr. Andrea Martin, associate professor of chemistry, coached the Widener team to their win as the other co-adviser of the Widener Chemistry Club.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees. The university's campuses in Chester, Exton, Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve some 6,300 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free campus. Visit the university website,