The world around us runs on chemistry, and the American Chemical Society created National Chemistry Week to bring that to light. To expand on this, WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology has been celebrating Chemistry Month for all of October.
“At WonderLab, we believe that science teaching should expose learners to accurate facts, actual science tools, and real STEM professionals,” said Emmy Brockman, WonderLab’s education director and early childhood education specialist. “During Chemistry month, children will have the chance to learn from real chemists, who will not only share the science they love with families, but also help children better understand what it means to be a scientist. Our IU Chemistry partners will be bring a variety of hands-on activities related to their research and a variety of chemists to share about the the work they do.”
Chemistry Month at WonderLab has featured four special events so far, including learning about nanoparticles with Sookin Jeong, using a kit from the National Institute of STEM Education to build batteries and experiment with sublimation, and exploring physical and inorganic chemistry with the Tait and Coulton Groups from the IU Chemistry Department.
“The first was about nanoparticles and I saw children as young as three years old taking vials of different colors and doing some pretty complex matching to understand the shape of nanoparticles, which I got to learn about alongside them,” said Brockman. “And the NISE kit was immensely hands-on. We had a lot of kids exploring that day, from looking at pigments to capturing carbon dioxide in bubbles using dry ice.”
The final special event for Chemistry Month will take place on Saturday, October 20th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The Brown Group from IU will teach about how chemistry can make smells and will guide guests in building their own molecule with gumdrops and toothpicks.