Something for everyone:
It’s Chemistry tonight!
Nothing to test, nothing to grade;
Most of our solutions are already
Something for everyone:
Nothing to hide, nothing you’ve seen;
We’ve got more magic than Houdini
Nothing that’s formal,
Nothing that’s normal,
No calculations to rewrite;
Open up the Dewar!
It’s Chemistry tooooo — n i g h t!
Over the years, the show hasn’t always had vocalists capable
of singing this song, but the production retains the feel of a
musical, according to professor Roderick Black, the chapter’s
faculty advisor. Often, the show now features recordings of several popular 1980s tunes.
“My favorite from the show is ‘As Cold as Ice’ by Foreigner,
which is used to introduce one of Dr. Cool’s demonstrations
that uses liquid nitrogen,” Black says. “And ‘Shake It Up,’ by
The Cars, provides a great opportunity for chapter members to
dance around while they shake a 5-gallon plastic stoppered ves-
sel containing air and methanol. If they’ve shaken the container
long enough most of the methanol has evaporated, and they
are left with a “methanol rocket for Dr. Pyro to ignite.”
In addition to Dr. Pyro and Dr. Cool, the show features HAL, a
talking computer that arbitrates between the two lead charac-
ters as they duel on the Kelvin scale.
Afterward, audience members can visit behind-the-scenes
exhibits that offer insights into the chemical reactions that
occurred during the show.
“Our goal is to motivate kids to study science,” Black once
told the Lawrence World-Journal (Kansas). “We encourage people to recognize the fun side of science and remember it’s not
just about the textbooks and the computer.” For more information: email@example.com.
Make a big difference in one life
For those who simply want to work one-on-one to bring science
to life for a child in need, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
offers plenty of opportunities to do just that.
This 110-year-old organization provides children facing
adversity with strong and enduring professionally supported
mentoring relationships that forever change their lives for the
better. It holds itself accountable for children in its program
to achieve measurable outcomes such as educational success,
avoidance of risky behaviors, higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships.
And yes, chemistry students just like you can and do make a
“One-to-one mentoring relationships make a significant
impact on the lives of young people,” says Pam Iorio, president
and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. “When you can
influence these lives in a positive way and help mentor young
people considering careers in fields like science and chemistry,
it can have a tremendous impact on their futures.”
To get started, go to www.bbbs.org, click on volunteer, and
enter your zip code.
Finally, we end where we began, at Spring Arbor University, where apparently the sky isn’t the limit for its whimsical
students. Working with chemistry professor Tom Kuntzleman,
alumni Josh Kenney devised an out-of-this-world experiment
for kids participating in the university summer science camp.
Inspired by a You Tube video of a father and son who launched
a toy that soared to the edge of space attached to a weather
balloon, Kenney decided to demonstrate the low pressure on
a potato chip bag and marshmallows as they, too, took off
toward the outer limits. Want to learn more? Read more about
the results of the experiment and obtain step-by-step directions on how to do the weather balloon demo on Reactions, the
ACS Undergrad Blog, at www.acs.org/undergradblog.
Doug Dollemore is a senior science writer in the ACS Office
of Public Affairs.