Once a year the Chemistry Club puts together a magic show that demonstrates the reactions that can occur when mixing elements. They work with everything from acid and bases to liquid nitrogen.
“I’m the coordinator of this club and the students work on this show for a couple of months to learn about the reactions that take place,” said Ryter, who helps the club get everything together.
The Chemistry Club is open to all students and allows members to explore the world of chemistry, without being enrolled in a course. The Chemistry Club is affiliated with the American Chemical Society (ACS), a national society of chemists. This event is just one of several things that happen in the club.
“We advertise this event to the schools in the community and we have mostly grade school kids come to watch,” Ryter said.
The event starts with one presentation that explores different reactions and then at the end audience members can rotate through a number of tables. Participators get to make slime, explore electricity and make ice cream with liquid nitrogen.
The children watching squealed with delight at the different reactions that took place in the room. They were quiet while the Western students explained the reactions and were quick to volunteer to participate in the magic.
“The first year we put this event on, we were in a small space and it kind of made me nervous! But now being in a ballroom, it is easier to make this event safe and enjoyable,” Ryter said.
This event is not only fun for an audience, but it is also educational in what chemistry is and what is involved to create the different reactions.
Story by Grace Flynn. Photos by Grace Flynn and Christopher Wilson.