On October 20, the Science Museum of Virginia welcomed hundreds of visitors to a “Science Saturday” program celebrating National Chemistry Week. Staff challenged visitors to find out why a penny shatters when it is dipped into liquid nitrogen. Volunteers helped visitors make soap and test the pH level of common household substances like baking soda and vinegar, coffee and juice. Other stations offered opportunities to analyze fingerprints, create a chromotography “butterfly,” and find out whether the smell of vanilla or mint can be detected through a balloon. Throughout the week, students and faculty from John Tyler Community College, Virginia Commonwealth University, J. Sargent Reynolds Community College, Virginia Union University, and Longwood University are participating in other chemistry programs with science museum gallery educators.
National Chemistry Week, October 21–27, is an annual event coordinated in the United States by the American Chemical Society. Among the many science centers participating this year are the Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas; the Museum of Science, Boston; the New York Hall of Science, Queens; and Explora, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Photo courtesy Science Museum of Virginia