Happy Mole Day

The Union Homeschool ChemClub in Union, New Jersey, made it a fun Mole Day celebration in 2016. With the ChemClub Periodic Table of Moles nearby and a stuffed ACS mole watching over the event (see photo), they started by calculating the molar mass of several chemicals and then prepared different molar concentrations of sucrose, sodium chloride, and magnesium sulfate solutions. After adding their chalk artwork to the sidewalk, they calculated how many moles of chalk they left on the sidewalk. Then they were given a mole of four different metals and had to use their chemistry skills to identify each one. They topped off the celebration by making delicious sugar cookies that spelled out “Happy Mole Day” (see photo).

Pleasant View School’s 2015-2016 Activities

Our Pleasant View School ACS ChemClub has been very active this year. Our club activities are designed to help achieve our school’s goal in science to “foster an understanding and appreciation of the scientific method.” We were able to do this over the course of the year with a variety of activities, including hosting a Science Expo, and organizing field trips to help clean up the shores of the Mississippi river in Memphis, and a visit to our local wastewater treatment plant.

Science Expo

Last January, Pleasant View School’s ChemClub in Memphis, Tennessee, opened the gym to pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students to display their Science Expo. A variety of science experiments were laid out: dry ice bubbles, milk fireworks, and an explosive volcano to name just a few. You can try similar experiments yourself take a look at Boo Bubbles and Interactive Colors in Milk. The electric energy of excited students and creative projects helped ensure that chemistry remains a subject that will continue to attract students for years to come. Continue reading “Pleasant View School’s 2015-2016 Activities”

The Martian Virtual Book Club

You’re stranded.

Not much to eat. You’re injured. Someone took your ride. No way to contact someone to come pick you up. No one else around.

What next?

Oh, has anyone mentioned that you’re on Mars?

Share character Mark Watney’s experience as he fights for survival in Andy Weir’s book The Martian. Will he be able to survive? How can he use science to solve his problems?

Continue reading “The Martian Virtual Book Club”

Seminole HS ChemClub Off to a Colorful Start

Greetings, from the newly formed Chemistry Club at Seminole High School, Seminole, FL! We are all so excited about this club and have done so many fun things so far! We started our first meet and greet session by dyeing goggles that we wear every time we have an activity (at every monthly meeting). Not only are our chemistry students interested in being a pSeminole_4art of the club, but our enthusiasm is contagious, as underclassman who haven’t even had a chemistry class are involved too. We’ve done fun experiments such as testing solubility rules by making hot chocolate, separating polymer letters from m&m candies, and doing radial chromatography t-shirts.

We partnered with the Seminole HS Technology Students Association to screen print “Life is an experiment, test your hypothesis” onto our colorful chemistry shirts. Thanks again to Mr. Winsey and his chemistry/equipment lesson after school!

We are heading into February and having our 1st ever Chem Cook-off (major ingredient-chocolate). Five teams of five ChemClub members each are working together to create a chocolate dessert without knowing what type of chocolate they will be given. We are working with the cooking teacher, Mrs. Whitfield, in her kitchen. Each group has their own recipe and will bring in their own basic ingredients, along with their creative flair. We are really looking forward to tasting all the scrumptious desserts that result.

In March, we will be studying how art and chemistry are related and work together by watching awesome video clips on beautifulchemistry.net. We are thinking about the nature of crystalline architecture as art.

In April, we will study the atmosphere and climate by doing the crushed can experiment and working with dry ice. We might possibly view a Bill Nye video on pressure.

In May, we are planning on talking about chemistry careers and having some University of Florida pharmacy students talk with the members.
Seminole_3 Seminole_2 Seminole_1

Halloween Chemistry

halloween-1486549_1280Halloween Chemistry and Mole Day are rising to the top of the most visited list on the ACS ChemClub Activities page. It must be October! If you haven’t visited the page before, ChemClubs offers a new Activity of the Month, well… every month. Each Activity collection focuses on a particular theme. For example, the latest topic is Makeup, Tattoos, and Hair. Each theme has a curated list of links. We comb the web for experiments, demonstrations, informational sites, and videos related to the month’s theme, then categorize and collect them with brief descriptions. ChemClubs also archives past Activity of the Month pages. The Halloween Chemistry and Mole Day pages are typically among the most popular during this time of year.

Mole Day may be over for the year, but bookmark the page for ideas for 2017. There’s still time to use the Halloween collection to get ideas for adding some creepy chemistry and spooky science to your day.

Some things you’ll find on the Halloween Chemistry Activity of the Month page:

  • Looking to make chemistry your Halloween wardrobe of choice? Take a look at the Costumes tab for ideas on masquerading as your favorite element or compound.
  • One link in the Body Parts tab suggests giving a classic demonstration a Halloween twist. You could probably dig up the materials at your house right now. Fill a plastic zip-seal bag with water, add red food coloring, and seal to create a bag of blood. Then, stab through the bag with skewers or sharpened pencils. The bag won’t leak due to the structure of the polymers that make up the bag.
  • Dry ice is indispensable for a bubbling cauldron effect. But, it can also be used to create a crystal ball filled with a swirling fog of the future. Look for the Boo Bubbles link in the Dry Ice tab. I’ve used the homemade container featured in the Sick Science! video at the link with kid-crowd-pleasing results.

There’s lots more to explore. Take a look at this Halloween collection or a different Activity of the Month new or old.