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College Holds 26th Annual High School Chemistry Night

Demonstrations Called 'Elephant's Toothpaste,' 'Drippy Faucet,' 'Dancing Flames' and 'Burning Hands'

October 25, 2013

Gavin Hubbard, a junior at East Clinton High School, catches a carbon dioxide bubble in the demonstration called

Gavin Hubbard, a junior at East Clinton High School, catches a carbon dioxide bubble in the demonstration called "Drippy Faucet." Dry ice is added to a container of hot water at the base of a six-foot tube. Carbon dioxide makes it way up the tube where a paper towel drenched in soapy water is fastened to the end of the tube, capturing the CO2 inside bubbles.

Students from five area high schools had a taste of college chemistry Wednesday (Oct. 23) as Wilmington College presented the 26th annual High School Chemistry Night.

The students viewed chemistry demonstrations — many featuring visual effects like fireballs, smoke, ghost-like vapors or erupting foam. They had names like “Elephant’s Toothpaste,” “Drippy Faucet,” “Dancing Flames” and “Burning Hands.”

WC chemistry students from the WC Science Society conducted the demonstrations and later instructed the high schools in small group settings on how they did it.

Students attended from Wilmington, East Clinton, Little Miami, Norwood and Clinton Massie high schools.
Following a welcome and the demonstrations that included the chemistry behind the audio and visual effects, the several chemistry faculty and alumni answered questions in the “Quiz the Chemist” portion of the program. They also heard a presentation from the Admission Office on “What to Look for in a College.”

(LEFT) WC senior Nate Godby demonstrates how balloons filled with various gasses explode with fireballs and loud bangs based upon the chemistry of the gasses.

Chemistry professors Alfred Conklin and Dore Meinholtz concluded the formal program with a presentation of awards to the high school students for the best demonstrations.

Wilmington College’s Chemistry Department and the American Chemical Society are co-sponsors of High School Chemistry Night.