The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department will be putting on the 26th annual Chemistry Circus Friday at 6:30 p.m. in the Walling Lecture Hall.
At the event, students in the department and the Chemistry Club will be demonstrating chemical reactions of all sorts for the audience.
The circus is a long standing ACU Homecoming tradition that is a fun, yet educational experience for everyone to enjoy. There is usually a big turnout, and the same is expected for this year.
Dr. Sarah Lee is in charge of this year’s circus and is especially enthusiastic about the number of freshman and sophomores that will be participating as well as the many unique demonstrations that will occur.
“It’s a great way to welcome them to the department,” she said.
Hannah Johnston, senior chemistry major, said, “The Chemistry Circus gets kids excited about science! I love seeing the reactions of people when we combine chemicals and something unexpected happens.”
The demonstrations that can be seen at the circus range from a chemical reaction called “Elephant Toothpaste,” to a reaction that produces colored flames. The Briggs-Rauscher Reaction, which involves rapid color changes of a solution, is one of the most popular demonstrations that will be performed.
Johnston will be taking part in the circus for her fourth time at ACU. She and classmate Gabby Brown will be demonstrating a concept of chemiluminescence, taking two solutions that, when mixed, will produce light.
“Where else are you going to see exploding hydrogen balloons and get to eat liquid nitrogen ice cream?” remarks Johnston. “This isn’t the stuff you got to do in high school chemistry class.”
Dr. Lee says the main purpose of the Chemistry Circus is simply “to educate and entertain.” It is also a good opportunity for the students to practice communicating chemistry with an audience, so that they will be prepared with some experience pertinent to the their field.
“We still want it to be fun and entertaining though, we even have an act called ‘the Flaming Jack-O-Lantern’ that is very exciting,” Lee said.
Whether you are interested in pyrotechnics, dry ice, glowing solutions, or fire-breathing pumpkins, the Chemistry Circus is a great event for all ages to attend.
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