South Plains

A Local Section of the American Chemical Society

Texas Discoveries that Changed the World (public lecture)



Fellow of the American Chemical Society


WEDNESDAY, OCT 31st       7:00 P.M.   CHEMISTRY ROOM 049

Reception (Snacks/Refreshments) immediately following in CHEM 049 foyer

Calling all native Texans and those who got here as fast as you could! A notable bull rider once said, "It ain't braggin' if it's true!" This presentation highlights how the history of Texas has laid the foundation of our status on the world's stage and how things that happened in Texas have made a difference. Highlighted are the advent of the discovery of oil, the addition of a malodorant to natural gas, the fluoridation of municipal water supplies, a few special solutions, and the birth of nanotechnology and the lithium battery. Selected are the 10 stories (maybe more) that are engaging and you'll get to leave with all the bragging rights that make Texas and Texans extraordinary.

Knowledge decay, diagnostic identifiers and persistence in general chemistry (technical lecture)



Fellow of the American Chemical Society



WEDNESDAY, OCT 31st       12 Noon     CHEM 113

SAT scores in Texas have declined over the past 10 years landing Texas 45th in the Nation. Failure to succeed in general chemistry, a known gateway course, impairs students' ability to attain a STEM degree. Research data collected by the NSA (Networking for Science Advancement) Team in a multi-institution study (n = 2,127 Year 1; n = 1,073 Year 2) evaluated the automaticity skills of general chemistry students at nine post-secondary institutions in Texas. Mathematics skills evaluated include arithmetic, algebra, and quantitative reasoning. The greatest effect size can be attributed to students who lack arithmetic automaticity that in turn compromises their chance of being successful in general chemistry.

Prof. Diana Mason, Ph.D., Fellow of the American Chemical Society Biography


Professor Emeritus Diana Mason received her B.A. (1974) from The University of Texas at Austin and her M.S. (1978) from Texas A & M University, Commerce. Following 10 years of teaching chemistry and mathematics at Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas, she returned to UT Austin where she earned her Ph.D. in science education with the emphasis in chemistry (1994). As an Associate Professor of Chemical Education at the University of North Texas (UNT), she graduated 10 doctoral students, published 17 research papers, 20 curricular documents, one chapter in an ACS book on "Profiling Texas Vodka", and two books, one named Lone Star Chemistry Solutions for introductory chemistry instruction.


Dr. Mason is honored to be a Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Regional Director of the Associated Chemistry Teachers of Texas (ACT2), appointed member of the Texas Exes Chapter Advisory Board, Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Science Education and Technology, and President of the Advisory Council member of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI @ UNT) for interested adults over 50 who like continuing to learn. In 2015, she received the E. Ann Nalley Southwest Region Award for Volunteer Service to the ACS, and the Excellence in Community Service Award from The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. In addition to her activities above, in her "retired" life, she leads a statewide collaboration of chemistry educators interested in improving the mathematics and quantitative-reasoning skills of general chemistry students enrolled in Texas institutions as part of the Networking for Science Advancement (NSA) team.