Family Science Night

Our ACS ChemClub (Buena Science League) at Buena High School in Ventura, California, has developed an exciting outreach program for local elementary and middle schools. We travel to the local middle schools and spend the day presenting demonstrations to their science classes. In a day, we typically see six classes, with about thirty students per class. Depending on how we travel to the middle school, we take seven to twelve Science League student demonstrators. We also host an annual Science Show for elementary students in our large auditorium, usually presenting three 40 to 45 minute shows to an audience of 200 students per show.

We also host themed Family Science Nights each quarter for elementary and middle school families. We arrange demonstrations for viewing and hands-on activities for participation. We try to choose demonstrations and activities that relate to the chosen theme. Fourth through eighth grade students attend for an hour and a half in the early evening. About 30 students came to the last one, with a superhero theme. We have about 15 students participating from the high school, and they are pretty committed to the events. Their responsibilities are to learn how to perform specific demonstrations safely and to explain the underlying science.

Wizardry 101 Three Shows

The Vineland High School ChemClub in Vineland, NJ, performed three chemical demonstration shows called, “Wizardry 101”,during the 2015-2016 school year. Each of the student “wizards” had to practice and perfect the performance of their demonstration and write their own scientific explanation for the phenomenon before being granted a position in the show.

The first show was in auditorium for 300 sixth graders at Petway Elementary School. Twenty chemistry students performed 15 demonstrations and gave scientific explanations of how each one worked. The demonstrations were arranged in order of their state of matter, liquids, solutions, gases, and heat. Continue reading “Wizardry 101 Three Shows”

STEM Turns into STEAM


Want to submit an application for a ChemClub Community Activity Grant before June 1, but don’t have a project idea? Or, is your Club simply looking for something new to try? Why not turn STEM into STEAM? Fusion Science Theater (FST) takes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education to a new creative level by adding the Arts. The Fusion Science Theater website describes FST as a STEAM outreach program that uses the secrets of theater to create outreach shows that actively engage children in learning science. They’re short, interactive shows that weave demonstrations together with predictions, modeling, and a storyline, targeted for an audience of grades 1 through 5.

How can you bring this program to your area? Apply for a Community Activity Grant to purchase a FST show performance kit! The kit will give your Club everything they need to perform the show in your community. The kits include a show script, video of a live performance of the show, list of materials and props you’ll need, a handbook for training and performance tips, and even instructions on how to assess learning achieved during the show.

Choose from:

  • If I Were an Atom to explore kinetic molecular theory and how atoms move in the solid phase. Watch a video preview.
  • Bouncemania! with a “Wrestlemania”-style match between happy & sad toy balls to learn about polymers and molecular structure. Who will be crowned “The World’s Bounciest Ball”? Watch a video preview.
  • Will It Light? to test and model the flow of electricity through different substances, as students investigate conductivity. Watch a video preview.

FST shows are more than just sharing your typical demos. They are inquiry-based. Show characters lead students to investigate a question that motivates the audience to learn a basic chemical concept. The shows are highly interactive. Audience members get to assist on stage, vote for their prediction of what will happen in a demonstration, and more. It’s easy to measure the impact and learning using assessment info included in the kit. The theater techniques and elements used are a great way to keep your audience’s attention.

For more information, download a PDF of the FST flier that was also included in a recent ACS ChemClub resource packet.

Get out there and generate some STEAM!

A Spectacular, Super, Science Show


On November 22nd, after two days of no sleep, plenty of bagels, and a few too many juice­boxes, we presented eight episodes of the Lakeville South High School Spectacular Science show. During the school day we presented to all 1,855 students in our school, followed by our 6:30pm grand finale in front of the Lakeville Community, Lakeville, Minn. Before the sun set, we had displayed the incredible power of chemistry to over 2,700 Lakevillians of all ages.

We began each show with a grand welcome:  “Hello and welcome to Lakeville South’s Science Show 2013! Tonight I will be your MC….that is MC△T. During the next two hours, we will guide you through Moley Potter’s Chemistry Quest. Our line­up for tonight includes the Hydrogen Rocket, Vortex Cannon, Boo Bubbles, Flying Fish, Flaming Snowballs, Grain Elevator and much more. See before your eyes 140 film canisters shoot in the air, 20 balloons explode into fire, and a 50 gallon barrel implode with a few squirts of water…and let’s hope the electric pickle actually works! Put on your seatbelts and prepare to take a ride with us through pops, sizzles, crashes, and well…chemistry!”Swordfight

We are the AP Chemistry students (and ACS ChemClub members!) at Lakeville South High School. We performed 33 experiments in the amazing, the magnificent, the life-­altering Lakeville South Science Show (a.k.a. Chem Demo Day). Over the course of five November days we planned and perfected the most amazing display of chemistry the world has ever seen, with a Harry Potter twist.”

SnowstormAudience member Maddie (a 6th grader) said after the show, “It was way cooler than I expected. It really makes me excited to take chemistry in high school.” Lisa King, AP English teacher at LSHS commented, “I thought Chem Demo was great. I brought my 6th grade daughter for the second year in a row. She asked if she could bring a friend this year because it was so great the year before. I think that it does a lot to show younger kids how ‘cool’ science is and how many older kids are interested in it. The weekend after the show, she and the friend figured out how to make “monster toothpaste” and made several batches.”

It wasn’t only spectators that enjoyed DryIcethe Science Show. Current AP Chemistry
student (and talent behind Boo Bubbles), Annika Tureson, explained, “The demo was definitely the best thing we’ve done in AP Chem. It was super fun to do hands-­on experiments and teach others about chemistry.”

The 2013 Chem Demo went down in the books as a huge success…definitely thermodynamically favored. It is undoubtedly an experience we will never forget. Although a few presenters took away some scrapes and bruises, and one slightly singed shirt, no one will ever forget the message…Chemistry for Life.