Fun With Chemistry at Carnegie
Earlier this summer, Carnegie chemistry teachers Ms. Elena Kolosova and Mr. Joshua Garcia attended a seminar at Rice University, promoting innovative methods of teaching in Chemistry. The seminar, sponsored by Fun With Chemistry at Rice University, presented a multitude of interactive opportunities for teachers to sign up for.
Carnegie Vanguard, as I was later told, was the first school to kick off FWC’s year of presentations. And no doubt, both chemistry teachers were proud to have been chosen. “I get it,” Ms. Kolosova said during class, “Sometimes you need to see the reaction to understand it. I can’t always just explain everything, right? So tomorrow, we’re going to see a special presentation by Rice University - that might get you in the mood to study.”
In the early afternoon on Dec. 3, a mass of freshmen and sophomores could be seen wandering into the cafeteria. There, waiting in the front of the stage, stood a plastic prop-up table filled with graduated cylinders and flasks. Each one filled with unknown substances. On the table, sat a large warning sign for passersby to recognize. “Caution: flammable material,” it read. That sentence alone was all it took to peak student interest.
The presentation pleased all the students, no doubt. Each experiment brought a round of applause and awe. From liquid nitrogen and dry ice to flames and explosions, each demonstration brought the crowd to life. “I wish we could do that,'' sophomore Sonya Keswani said, “That’d be so much fun.” Regardless, each time, the FWC presenters reminded us of the danger of chemistry.
“Each of these next demonstrations is dangerous and potentially fatal,” presenter Nicole Behnke warned, “We can’t press enough the dangers of doing these experiments at home. Please don’t. Safety is important."
The presentation passed by quickly, leaving many students desiring more. At the collective groans of the students, the FWC presenters laughed. “We have to go guys,'' presenter Caroline Hudson said, “But Fun With Chemistry has a variety of opportunities online and in the summer. We look forward to seeing you guys again soon."
The assembly left a profound mark on the students. As I followed the stream of students out the door, I heard a chorus of delight and approval. “It was entertaining,'' says sophomore Vivian Huynh, “Just enough to make me study!” she laughs.
Fun With Chemistry operates out of Rice University. They will be continuing presentations throughout this year.
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