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Got Peeps?

Have some Peeps leftover from Easter and don’t know what to do with them? Peeps — you know, marshmallow gooeyness shaped like pastel chicks and bunnies?

ACS member Kathryn Hughes sent me this adorable photo of an IYC-themed Peep diorama that she; her husband Matthew Clarke, and friend Abigail Miller, created for the Washington Post’s fourth annual Peeps diorama contest. They affectionately named their diorama “International Peep of Chemistry.” Note the “Peepriodic Table of Elements” hanging on the back wall. And if you look real close, you can see safety glasses on each Peep — and the gas cylinder is strapped down …. and there’s an eye wash and a fire extinguisher, complete with inspection tags.

Even Peeps have to demonstrate prudent practices in the lab!

Hughes is a program officer with the National Academy of Sciences’ Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology. Clarke is a chemist at the National Gallery of Art. And Miller is a chemist at American University.

“It took all of our chemical know-how to pull it together,” said Hughes. But “sadly, our fabulous chemical creativity was not rewarded by even runner-up status.” Nevertheless, it did bring IYC to the attention of the Washington Post judges. The first place winner of the contest was a diorama depicting the October 2010 rescue of the 33 trapped Chilean miners.

Feel free to submit examples of how you are celebrating IYC in your community.

By the way, if you’re curious what these peeps are made of, read C&EN’s What’s That Stuff article on the chemistry of marshmallows.

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