In the spirit of all things scientific, occasionally explosive and all-around inspirational, the Texas A&M University Department of Chemistry is gearing up to host the 31st annual edition of one of the most popular educational attractions to be found on the Texas A&M campus.
Texas A&M Chemistry invites science enthusiasts from across the Brazos Valley and the state of Texas to join in celebrating three decades and counting of one of Texas A&M’s proudest fall traditions, the Chemistry Open House and Science Exploration Gallery, set for Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the main Chemistry Building complex.
The open house is held annually in conjunction with National Chemistry Week, celebrated this year from Oct. 21- 27 with the space chemistry theme, Chemistry is Out of This World.
Visitors are encouraged to start their open house tours by checking in at the “Welcome” tent located at the intersection of Ross and Spence Streets adjacent to the Chemistry Annex to receive a free bag of scientific goodies. A secondary table will be situated in the plaza outside of the Chemistry Building at the intersection of Ross and Ireland Streets just north of the three red-brick water fountains. Free parking is available in Lot 51 north of the Zachry Engineering Education Complex, with additional paid parking to be found in the Northside Garage.
“The activities and demonstrations are for the entire community,” said Dr. Stephanie A. McCartney, First Year Chemistry Program lecturer and event organizer. “It’s a completely free event, and it’s part of the National Chemistry Week from the American Chemical Society. The undergraduates and graduate students that help out with our activities and demonstrations give very nice, basic scientific explanations of natural phenomena that occur in everyday life. The community loves this event, and it gets bigger and bigger each year.”
The day-long festival will be highlighted by four presentations of the popular Chemistry Road Show (9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m.) in Room 100 of the main Chemistry Building. The show is recommended for all ages and includes popular science demonstrations, such as fires, explosions, weird polymers and super-cold materials. Please note that the free color-coded tickets for seating, which can be obtained at the welcome tent in the water-fountain plaza, are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and tend to go quickly.
Hands-on and polymer experimentation, computer activities, guided laboratory tours and demonstrations also will be in progress throughout the day as part of the Science Exploration festivities. In addition to faculty, students and staff from the Department of Chemistry, the Department of Biology and the Department of Physics and Astronomy, students from the College of Engineering and the Texas A&M chapter of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) also will participate.
As part of the celebratory event, the Texas A&M ACS section is sponsoring an illustrated poem contest for area K-12 students. The deadline for entries is Friday, Oct. 12. Click here for additional information on contest rules and the official entry form.
The Chemistry Open House and Science Exploration Gallery is sponsored in part by VWR Scientific, Hayden-McNeil Publishing, the Texas A&M College of Science, the Texas A&M University-American Chemical Society Local Chapter and the First Year Chemistry Program.