DeSales Students Mix Humor, Music, with Chemical Concepts to Present Chemistry Demonstrations Program
In what has become an annual "must see production," DeSales students combine humor and music with chemical concepts in a series of colorful presentations designed to teach the basics of chemistry to area middle and high school students, as part of the Eighth Annual DeSales University Chemistry Demonstrations program.
Established in fall 2001, the goal of the annual program is to educate elementary and secondary school students on the basics of chemistry in a fun environment. The DeSales students design experiments to be visually interesting, exciting, and illustrative of important chemical concepts. A different collection is presented each year.
"Students spend much of their own time preparing for presentations, even before the first program of the academic year is presented. Once the programs begin, they also devote countless hours to presenting and perfecting them," said Dr. Roger Berg, associate professor of analytical chemistry, who coordinates the chemistry program. "And they do it all for the love of science."
Students present 10 daytime performances and one evening public event for elementary, middle and high school students in the Lehigh Valley area, as part of the semester-long chemistry demonstrations program. Students also will present 11 performances during the spring 2009 semester. According to Berg, more than 2000 people in the Lehigh Valley area are expected to see the presentation during 2008-2009 academic year.
This year's program features 15 DeSales students who will conduct colorful experiments with names such as Poppin' Polymers, Burnin' Up, Now Walk it Out, Dirty Laundry, and Bubble Bombs and No Strings Attached, among others.
The DeSales students develop the key concepts, research the chemistry underlying them, and create colorful power-point presentations based on reactions observed. Music is also selected by the students which is appropriate for the demonstrations.
"Students spend much of their own time preparing for presentations, even before the first program of the academic year is presented. Once the programs begin, they also devote countless hours to presenting and perfecting them," said Berg. "And they do it all for the love of science."
In addition to Berg, DeSales faculty members participating in the demonstrations program this year include Dr. Francis Mayville, associate professor of organic chemistry and biochemistry, Dr. Tina Catalone, assistant professor of natural science, and Mrs. Patricia Hartman, chemistry laboratory manager.
Berg emphasizes that everyone, teachers and students alike, benefits from the program and sees it as a "win-win situation."
"The program stimulates the thinking of those who see it, so students are energized, as well as entertained," says Berg. "It also enables high school and middle school teachers to learn new concepts and ideas and find new ways to teach chemistry to their students."
According to Berg, the demonstrations program is a worthwhile and enjoyable learning experience for the DeSales students because it helps them learn additional techniques and different methods of doing chemistry. It also gives them an opportunity to perform before large groups of people to improve their communication and presentation skills.
For more information on the chemistry demonstrations, call the DeSales University Department of Natural Science, at 610-282-1100, ext. 1386.
Press Release: DeSales Students Mix Humor, Music, with Chemical Concepts to Present Chemistry Demonstrations Program | Posted on: 11/3/2008
For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive Director of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034
610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu