Saturday, November 1, 2008

Alpha Chi Sigma Holds Chemistry Week Activities

From Ms. Olivia McGovern of Alpha Chi Sigma:
During National Chemistry Week, the Gamma Tau Chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma at IUP held an outreach activity in the Oak Grove. This year, 12 members gathered to celebrate National Chemistry Week by taking a split interpretation of the theme "Having A Ball With Chemistry", showing both how chemistry is related to sports and fun.

To relate to sports, the members of Alpha Chi Sigma built steroid molecules and explained to visitors what a steroid is and a little bit about its effects. Then the visitors were encouraged to build steroid molecules or any other molecules the could think of with marshmallows. Plent of fun was had with that activity, but more was to come with the addition of liquid nitrogen to the table! By smashing frozen roses, eating frozen marshmallows, and pounding nails into boards using a frozen banana they showed how liquid nitrogen changes the properties of roses to make them brittle, marshmallows to make them a cold crunchy treat, and bananas to make them extremely hard.

A pumpkin was also carved in the spirit of Halloween with a Wyvern. The pumpkin was filled with liquid nitrogen to create the effect that the dragon-like creature was blowing icy fire in the cold weather (see picture). The finale of the day followed the tradition of creating a Diet Coke explosion by adding Mentos to Diet Coke, causing the it to erupt from the bottle. Overall, the event was a great success attracting the attention of many passersby and hooking them in to try an experiment. They look forward to the opportunity to do this again next year.

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