"Wow Factor" Apparent As MCCC Chemistry Students Visit Local Elementary Schools

11/19/08


"I LOVE chemistry," said Zach from Dutch Neck Elementary School in West Windsor. "I couldn't believe some of the things you did," said Jared. "The experiments you showed us were spectacular," said Pia. These enthusiastic comments summed up the resounding approval of youngsters following a visit by MCCC science students and faculty during National Chemistry Week, Oct. 20-24.

According to MCCC Associate Chemistry Professor Helen Tanzini, thrilling children with the wonders of science is the goal of the visits she and her students make each year with the support of the Trenton Section of the American Chemical Society. "We create magic moments through basic chemistry experiments," Tanzini said.

More than 20 students from Mercer and several from Rider University were involved in preparing and presenting experiments to a total of 550 youngsters at five area elementary schools, which included Washington Elementary and Franklin Elementary in Trenton, Robinson Elementary in Hamilton, John Witherspoon School in Princeton and Dutch Neck School in West Windsor. In addition to Tanzini, other faculty volunteers from Mercer were Angela Treannie, Bruce Chorba, Linda Falkow, MaryAnn Norcross and Catherine Robbins, as well as Rider University's Danielle Jacobs and Bruce Burnham.

This year's theme, "Having a Ball with Chemistry," was inspired by the Olympics. Among the experiments were the production of fake snow using polyacrylate; a "Milk of Magnesia" demonstration illustrating chromatography; and the ever-popular making of "glitter slime," composed of polyvinylalcohol and Borax, that the children could take home as a souvenir. The children also received a magazine from the American Chemical Society and a booklet of science activities that they could do on their own.

MCCC presenters at the Dutch Neck School included,
back row from left, student Kelly Moore, faculty member Helen Tanzini, and student Andrew Kotula; front row,
faculty member Catherine Robbins, alumnus
Luis Reyes, faculty member MaryAnn Norcross
and student Ozcan Dalgic (kneeling front).

Trick or treat for Chemistry Week!
Chemistry wizards, from left, MCCC alumus Luis Reyes,
and students Ozcan Dalgic and Kelly Moore.

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