Chemistry Club Inspires Students with Science

Chemistry Club member Preston Robinson helps elementary students write their names on goldenrod paper. Photo Credit / Briana Magistro
Chemistry Club member Preston Robinson helps elementary students write their names on goldenrod paper. Photo Credit / Briana Magistro

Chemistry Club member Preston Robinson helps elementary students write their names on goldenrod paper.
Photo Credit / Briana Magistro

By Zachary Gotthardt

SC Staff Writer

On March 19, the Chemistry Club traveled to local elementary school Msgr. McHugh, located near Mount Pocono.  There, they brought the excitement of chemistry to the next generation of scientists.

The Chemistry Club planned this event as a community outreach program to get involved with children. It gave club members an opportunity to exercise their teaching skills.

Msgr. McHugh was chosen to host the event because it is the school of the children of professors Dr. Teresa Michelle Jones-Wilson and Dr. Paul Wilson.

Four club members and professors Dr. Wilson and Dr. Jones-Wilson oversaw the experiments.

The ESU students taught third and fourth grade children basic chemistry principles in the atmosphere of a magic show.

“We were excited to work with the kids and they were excited too,” said Chemistry Club president Briana Magistro.

She continued, “Their faces lit up when they walked into the room with the experiments.”

The chemistry exhibits were very introductory, but were designed to awe and inspire.

Two of the experiments included teaching the students how glow sticks work and pH tests with goldenrod paper.

The reaction inside a glow stick was recreated using luminol, and the children were able to use basic solutions to make art on the goldenrod paper.

“The paper changes color in a base from yellow to red,” Magistro said.

She continued, “The kids were able to write their names on the paper with baking soda.”

The chemistry magic show was received well by the children, and the members regarded it as a success.

“At first, when doing the luminol reaction, the children were becoming bored,” club member Preston Robinson remarked.

He continued, “They simply lacked a bit of patience. However, after the children witnessed the fluorescence, their attitudes changed from unimpressed to simply amazed.”

The show was able to pique interest in chemistry among many of the students.

“We asked the group at the end who wanted to be a scientist and almost all of the kids raised their hands,” said Magistro. “One girl even asked me how she could become a scientist!”

Based on the success of this event, the Chemistry Club hopes to continue developing its relationship with Msgr. McHugh, as well as other local elementary schools.

“It was great to know that we had a positive impact like that,” said Robinson.

Chemistry Club has several other community outreach programs planned for this semester as well.

They will host a table at Earth Day on April 23, and students who visit their table will be able to use chemicals to tie-dye.

On the same day, they will also be traveling to DSM, a chemical company located in New Jersey, to assist with Take Your Child to Work Day.

To support this event, a bake sale will be held in the Science and Technology Building on April 13.

Anyone who wishes to help with these events or become a club member is encouraged to attend one of the club’s bimonthly meetings, which are held in the Science and Technology Building, room 148, on Tuesdays at 2:30 PM.

Email Zachary at:

zgotthar@live.esu.edu

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