'Weird Science' scheduled at USD The University of South Dakota Chemistry Department will host its annual Estee Lecture on Jan. 18. This year's featured speaker is Lee Marek. He will present "Weird Science" at 4:30 p.m. in Churchill-Haines Laboratories, room 118, on the USD campus.
A reception will follow the lecture, and the public is invited to attend both.
"Weird Science" is a fast-paced series of short, easy and sometimes "weird" demonstrations and ideas on chemical and physical phenomena. Marek directs the program which is designed to entertain and educate its audiences using humor, videos, audios and audience participation.
"Weird Science" has been presented 500 times to more than 30,000 students, teachers and the general public at various locations around the world.
Marek is well known for his appearances on the David Letterman Show.
Since 1990, Lee and his Illinois school students have presented portions of the "Weird Science" program to a national audience 21 times on Letterman.
Marek has taught high school chemistry in Naperville, IL since 1974. He received a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois and two M.S. degrees from Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL.
He has headed a teachers alliance group called CHEM WEST, which disseminates chemistry information, ideas and materials by the process of "teachers sharing with teachers."
He has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, the Christa McAuliffe Fellowship, the Tandy Technology Scholar Award for Outstanding Teacher, and several other teaching awards.
He was also the recipient of the American Chemical Society's James Bryant Conant Award in 1994, presented annually to the top high school chemistry teacher in the country.
The Estee Lecture Series was established at USD in 1991 in honor of Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Dr. Charles Remington Estee, who served as chairman of the USD Chemistry Department for 32 years.
"Dr. Estee provided the leadership that inspired generations of students and motivated his colleagues to attain new heights," said Mary Berry, chair of the Chemistry Department at USD. "His dedication to students and concern for fellow faculty are without equal."