Spotlight: University of São Paulo International Student Chapter

University of São Paulo International Student Chapter
Members of the University of São Paulo ACS Student Chapter in Brazil. From left to right: Joacilia Mazzini, Aline Mitiue, Tharik Dahwache, Carolina Sotério, Igor de Almeida Barros, Joel Oliveira, Guilherme Teruaki.

  • Chapter president: Carolina Sotério
  • Faculty advisor: Professor Antonio Carlos Bender Burtoloso and Professor Lea da Silva Veras
  • Chapter members: 12
  • Facebook page:

The University of São Paulo ACS Student Chapter in São Carlos, Brazil was chartered in October 2015. Read on to see what they've been up to!

What inspired you to start an ACS international chapter?

We are in the most prestigious university in Brazil, which puts us in contact with many engaged people every day. The biggest inspiration was the opportunity to get involved in a group that allows us to develop projects exploring chemistry and be a part of ACS, one of the most important scientific societies in the world. As an ACS international chapter, we have a chance to disseminate chemistry, make a difference in our country, and use our experience to improve our personal and professional skills.

What’s the best aspect of having a chapter on your campus?

Our campus is widely known for its strong focus on STEM education. Our city was recognized as the "Capital of Technology," which is fundamental to the development of our nation. Having an ACS student chapter on campus allows us to share ideas with students at different stages of their studies who want to promote diversity in science. We can also contribute to expanding the public’s involvement in our activities.

In the final phase of the Regional Olympiad of Science, Julia Nascimento talks about her group project "Sustainable House".

What events has your chapter organized recently?

Some of our projects are:

  • Olympiad of Science, working with kids in the ninth grade
  • Academic Meeting, where we take a moment to discuss themes we don't get to explore a lot in the classroom, and talk about our future as chemists. The last editions were "Why Become a Scientist" and "The Dark Side of Science: An Ethical Discussion."
  • Chap'zza Night, an interaction for networking and pizza
  • Translation of the Molecule of the Week to Portuguese using digital art
  • "Show of Chemistry," an opportunity to learn about chemistry in a playful way
Tharik Dawache (Communication Director) and Igor de Almeida Barros (Project Director) at the Regional Olympiad of Science.
Students create digital art for the molecule Luciferin.

How do you recruit members?

We search for motivated people with a common interest to disseminate science to transform the world we live in. Most of our new members have participated in one of our  group activities. Although we are new to recruiting, we are always thinking of new approaches, and we always offer candidates an opportunity to develop a project or organize an activity. This gives them a chance to see if they want to be a part of the University of São Paulo ACS Student Chapter.

Chapter members Jessica Migliato, Joel Oliveira (Vice President and mentor), Larissa Okabayashi, and Guilherme Janei at the final phase of the Regional Olympiad of Science.

What do students enjoy most about being a part of the chapter?

Students really enjoy developing teamwork and other skills, the autonomy to share project ideas, and the exercise of adapting scientific language for greater accessibility. Our chapter is a place where students can identify with the values of the group and feel free to improve themselves.

How has your chapter impacted the community?

The principal social impact we realized was with the Regional Olympiad of Science. Some of us had decided to pursue a scientific career because of an influential contact we had had at the university during our high school years. Now we're able to provide the same experience for kids, showing how chemistry is present in our routines and exploring the abilities they will use for life, like teamwork, a project execution, a public speech, and the importance of being a questioning citizen.

Enzo Belli discusses his project, "The Neural System".

What’s unique about the activities you do in your chapter?

What makes our activities unique is the fact that we work with inclusion. Our mission is to make science accessible for all people because chemistry is present in everyone's routines and having this knowledge is a way to change lives for the better.