Students and Faculty Embark on
Annual Chemistry Road Show
In their annual
chemistry road show, students and faculty from MCCC and Rider University
presented an array of scientific marvels to enthusiastic youngsters
at five area elementary schools. Part of an observance of National
Chemistry Week from Oct. 23-27, the program is designed to bring
science concepts to life - not only in terms that children can understand,
but with enough thrills to encourage youngsters to consider future
careers in the sciences.
to MCCC Associate Chemistry Professor Helen Tanzini, who coordinates
the yearly project with support from the Trenton Section of the
American Chemical Society, the goal is to use hands-on activities
to show scientific principles in action. "The children consistently
react with amazement and delight," Tanzini said. She notes
that in addition to 12 current students, she was pleased to have
six MCCC alumni come back to lend a hand. "One took off the
morning from his classes at UMDNJ, where he is a medical student,"
Over the course of five days, the volunteers visited 720 students
from third through fifth grade. The schools included MacFarland
in Bordentown, Dutch Neck in West Windsor, Grace Norton Rogers in
Hightstown, Cranbury, and Langtree in Hamilton. In preparation for
the visits, a second group of volunteers spent an evening organizing
materials and mixing solutions. "There were four people working
for four straight hours to get the projects ready," Tanzini
in Mercer''s Chemistry Week
road show were: (front row, l. to r.) MCCC alum
Rachael Jones, students Virlyn Gibson and
Judy Athmejvar; (back row, l. to r.) MCCC faculty
members Helen Tanzini and Bruce Chorba, and students Pete Meagher,
Tim Klockner, and Chris Bennett.
chemistry student Christopher Bennett,
right, with Dutch Neck Elementary School
students and teacher Jeff Grabelle.
year's theme, "Chemistry in the Home," focused on chemicals
commonly found in the home, and the ways in which they can interact to
form new substances. Among the experiments were a demonstration of chromatography,
a common separation technique used by scientists; the making of artificial
snow, using the highly absorbent polyacrylate; a demonstration of how
Milk of Magnesia neutralizes stomach acid; and the ever-popular "slime,"
a mixture of PVA (polyvinylalcohol) and Borax detergent. Students also
received a souvenir packet, "Your Home - It's All Built on Chemistry,"
which included activities and discussions for young scientists.
faculty members who participated this year included: Tanzini, Carlo Alfare,
Bruce Chorba, Marianne Reynolds, Diane Hilker, Ron Smith, Mary Ann Norcross,
and Yvonne Greenbaun. Rider faculty included Alex Grushow and Bruce Burnham.
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