Ottawa Township High School ChemClub National Chemistry Week Activities

This popular toy was accidentally discovered by engineer James Wright while working at General Electric during World War II. He was trying to find a substitute for natural rubber that was in short supply. Interestingly the patent for this item is still in dispute. What is the name of this toy?

A. Slime
B. Silly Putty
C. Play Doh
D. Flubber

The question above (the answer is B, by the way) was one of those asked during a trivia contest on a local radio station twice a day every day from Monday, October 21, through Friday, October 25, to celebrate National Chemistry Week (NCW). Members of the Ottawa Township High School (OTHS) ChemClub wrote 12 multiple-choice trivia questions, and the morning show host, Jay LeSeure, picked which ones he would use each day. The contest was so popular that the station lifted their policy of only winning once every 30 days because there were so many callers each day. Contest prizes were copies of the ChemClub calendar, which has the OTHS club pictured on the cover, along with pictures from our outreach programs shown on the May and July pages; the current issue of ChemMatters; and a gift certificate for a local restaurant. A big thank you to Marta Gmurczyk at ACS for supplying the calendars and ChemMatters and Rick Koshko, the news director at WCMY 1430 AM.

Ottawa_periodic_cupcakes

We did an additional activity during NCW, on Mole Day. For our ChemClub meeting, two members made a periodic table of cupcakes—118 mini cupcakes, each decorated with the symbol of an element. They organized them into the periodic table before we safely consumed them. Please don’t try that with real elements! I even ate the plutonium myself, even though I was warned it smelled funny (Pu). In addition, we had molasses cookies and guacamole.

We have had a very exciting start to the year and look forward to taking our show for elementary schools on the road during second semester. Recently we also received the Ambassador of Chemistry award from the ACS Office of Public Affairs for bringing chemistry to the public.

Preston High School ChemClub Celebrates Mole Day

AnimoleKingdomPHS

Mole Day, observed annually on October 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m., commemorates Avogadro’s number (6.02 x 1023), a basic measuring unit in chemistry. This unofficial international holiday in the field of chemistry is not taken lightly by Preston High School’s ChemClub. As it has done in past years, the Preston High School (PHS) ChemClub sought to make sure the entire student body was informed about Mole Day and its significance.

To prepare for Mole Day 2013, the PHS ChemClub posted Mole Day facts around the school, decorated the ChemClub bulletin board, and even hung up a countdown that showed how many days were left until Mole Day. The PHS ChemClub used the National Mole Day Foundation‘s selected theme for Mole Day 2013—The Animole Kingdom. Balloons with the Animole Kingdom theme printed on them were purchased and hung up, and a very creative member of the ChemClub created a large poster depicting the Animole Kingdom.

On Mole Day, the poster and balloons were displayed in the school lobby to alert everyone to exactly what day it was. The PHS ChemClub also gave a presentation to the entire student body in the gym. Along with a PowerPoint presentation with pictures and facts, ChemClub members explained what Mole Day is, its significance, what a mole is, various interesting facts about moles, and even Mole Day jokes. Some samples:

  • Did you know that one mole of cents could repay the national debt of the United States 86 million times?
  • Why did Avogadro stop going to the chiropractor on October 24th? He was only tense to the 23rd!

To conclude the assembly, the video “Happy Mole Day to You” was shown.

 

Students and teachers were very impressed with this year’s Mole Day assembly and continue to talk about it. Thanks to the ChemClub, Mole Day 2013 at Preston High School was a success!