Lincoln Family Science Night – 17 November 2022

Family Science Night is back — on Thursday, November 17th, we put on our N95 masks for an evening of chemistry fun at Lincoln Elementary School in Richmond.  Bryan Balazs kicked things off with his colorful chemistry show.  More than one hundred students and parents were delighted by disappearing water, elephant’s toothpaste, the big flame in a bottle, and the acrylic-oxygen rocket.

Meanwhile, our volunteers were ready with a half-dozen hands-on activities.  Kids flocked to Chevron slime station. Chimara Stancill and Michael Cheng presented the NCW theme activity Dyeing for Color, where kids discovered that food dyes work better on some fibers than others. Alex Madonik supervised the Chemistry Rainbow, a brilliant display of colors from red cabbage pH indicator.  We made sure that students put on their safety goggles before adding vinegar or milk of magnesia to the tall flask, but what kept them coming back was dry ice (courtesy of Chevron).  Jason Lau put dry ice to work in the Sublimation Bubbles demonstration. ACS@Berkeley arrived early and took charge of Scents from Plants, Mystery Scents, and Molecular Models.  Jordan Rasiah, Rushma Nayyar, and Sahand Adibnia stayed until the very end to help me clean up, and I’m grateful!

I promised that we would make Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream, and AirGas of San Leandro was ready to provide the key ingredient (liquid nitrogen, of course!)  Michael Cheng and I had an eager audience as he poured and I stirred, and a helpful colleague took a series of photos. Our host, Vice-Principal Vranda Booker, helped us serve. Thanks also to Eileen Nottoli and Leslie Reckler, who helped reconnect us with the West Contra Costa Unified School District.  We hope to be back soon!

Alex Madonik, National Chemistry Week Coordinator