Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
501 E. St. Joseph Street • Rapid City, SD 57701- 3995
Phone: ( 605) 394- 6082/ 2554 • Fax: ( 605) 394- 6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
( March 1, 1999)
SDSM& T STUDENTS DEMONSTRATE WONDERS OF CHEMISTRY TO OVER 1300 STUDENTS FROM 25 AREA SCHOOLS
With exploding hydrogen balloons and cotton that burst into flames, SDSM& T chemistry students kept over 1300 middle through senior high school students on the edge of their seats during the “ Miracles of Chemistry” demonstrations presented during Engineers Week. The South Dakota Tech campus hosted students from 25 schools from a three- state region— South Dakota ( Belle Fourche, Douglas, Faith, Hill City, Isabel, Kadoka, Kyle, Mission, Nemo, Philip, Rapid City, Ridgeview, Spearfish, Sturgis, and Takini); Nebraska ( Alliance, Cody and Chadron); and Wyoming ( Newcastle).
Jeremy Day ( junior, Clark) kicked off his “ Super Cold Liquid” presentation by demonstrating what happens when a carnation flower, a banana, and a racquetball are dipped in liquid nitrogen. The carnation became very brittle and shattered; the banana became hard enough to pound a nail into a board; and the racquetball exploded with a loud cracking noise when thrown against the floor.
Amber Cain ( sophomore, Rapid City), Celeste Mercade ( sophomore, Box Elder), and Jessica Schultze ( sophomore, Belle Fourche) teamed together to present two demonstrations—“ Genie in a Bottle” and “ Mad Foaming Elephant’s Toothpaste.”
The “ GunCotton” demonstration by Jennifer Dirks ( junior, Martin) fired up the students’ interest in chemistry. She drew oohs and aahs from the audience as the students saw how quickly the chemically- treated cotton would ignite and burst into flames when touched by a hot glass rod.
As the lights were turned off encasing the room in total darkness, the “ Glowing Bug Juice” show by Connie Giroux ( sophomore, Rapid City) and Keri Bachmeier ( junior, Hermosa) drew “ oohs”, “ aahs”, and “ cool” comments from the audience. A maze of tubes glowed in the dark as a special luminescent blue liquid slowly traveled down the apparatus.
Brian Picard ( junior, Fargo) and Amy Williams ( senior, Rapid City) garnered the crowd’s immediate and full attention when they demonstrated the “ Big Bang” properties of hydrogen gas. Their “ Pringlet” presentation used a potato chip can to simulate what happens to a rocket similar to the lift- off of a rocket.
SDSM& T students developed their presentations as part of the new Chem 292 Outreach class. The new course was developed by Dr. David Boyles and is an integrated class of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors working independently and collectively. Coordinators for the Fall 1998 offering of the course were Dr. David Boyles, Associate Professor of Chemistry, and Dr. Steven McDowell, Chair of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering and Associate Professor of Chemistry.
The campus celebration of Engineers Week included many K- 12 outreach activities. Visiting students toured a wide range of departmental experiments/ displays throughout the day.
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