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.

Halstead High School ChemClub Glowing with Excitement


Halstead High School ChemClub members served up a smorgasbord of luminescent glow stick experiments.
Halstead High School ChemClub members serve up a smorgasbord of luminescent glow stick experiments.
The Halstead High School ChemClub in Halstead, Kansas, recently decided to partake of the collection of glow stick experiments posted on the ACS ChemClub’s September Activity of the Month page “Lightsticks and Luminescence.” We did several experiments from the Activity of the Month links, but did others as well. Our experiments included snapping wintergreen mints in the dark with various objects so we could see the spark they emitted. We also used a black light to see what kinds of colors fluoresced. Several students tried the Mountain Dew and hydrogen peroxide experiment shown in a video that has been traveling around the internet. They confirmed that it is a hoax and does not work like the video claims. Lastly, and a clear favorite of the students, we cut open glow sticks and mixed the colors to see what combinations we could create. While cutting the glow sticks open was a bit messy, the students had a lot of fun mixing the colors and were glowing in both appearance and excitement at the end of the experiments.