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Beyond Benign has awarded Harrisburg University of Science and Technology and Dr. Yiben Wang, Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, a 2023–24 Green Chemistry Education Challenge Award.

The Green Chemistry Education Award identifies and empowers institutions that are actively driving awareness of green chemistry and incorporating sustainable chemistry values, technologies, and techniques into courses and laboratories. Green chemistry centers on mitigating the negative environmental impacts of the chemistry field, including curbing the use of nonrenewable resources, preventing pollution, and developing safer materials, products, and processes.

Harrisburg University’s Challenge Award proposal called attention to HU’s plans to host two collaborative professional development workshops in July and August 2024, for local high-school teachers partnered with HU through its College in the High School (CiHS) program. Dr. Wang noted, “Teachers will be trained in demonstrating and facilitating greener laboratory experiments by faculty and two undergraduate students from the Department of Chemistry. This project will foster and accelerate the growth of green chemistry at Harrisburg University and its partners in the Central Pennsylvania community.”

HU’s ongoing efforts to empower the next generation of green chemists was a natural fit with the Green Chemistry Education Challenge. HU was one of 10 awardees, each receiving $5,000, which have demonstrated an institutional commitment to incorporating green chemistry concepts and ideals into courses, community outreach, and laboratory processes. Each recipient is a GCC Signer Institution, signifying their commitment to green chemistry in the classroom and community.

Dr. Wang said: “This award raises HU’s profile in the global green chemistry community. Out of the 10 projects awarded this year, only two were from US-based higher education institutions, and HU is one of them. The award will fund summer workshops training high-school chemistry teachers in greener chemistry experiments. This will strengthen our partnerships with area high schools through our College in the High School program and allow HU to raise green chemistry awareness by sharing best practices.”

He continued: “This award is a tremendous honor for me personally because I sincerely believe that green chemistry holds the key to a sustainable future. I’m incredibly humbled to be given an opportunity to make meaningful contributions in that transition. Awards like this empower educators to be innovative in their green chemistry curriculum to foster the next generation of scientists.”

ABOUT BEYOND BENIGN

Beyond Benign empowers educators with knowledge, networking, and resources to make chemistry and chemistry education greener and better able to answer emerging challenges sustainably. The Green Chemistry Education Challenge is part of the Beyond Benign “Green Chemistry Commitment (GCC),” which seeks to increase awareness of green chemistry, facilitate the exchange of knowledge through conferences, publications, seminars, and social campaigns, and lead the sustainable transformation of academic curricula and laboratory procedures. Beyond Benign actively supports the growth of the green-chemistry community, helps develop departmental resources, and improves job outlooks in the industry by connecting talent with job opportunities.

ABOUT HARRISBURG UNIVERSITY

Harrisburg University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is a private, nonprofit university offering bachelor’s and graduate degree programs in the fields of science, technology, and mathematics. For additional information about the University’s affordable, demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, please call 717-901-5146 or email Connect@HarrisburgU.edu. Stay updated by following Harrisburg University on X, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.

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