Students learn about Chemistry
Friday, 15 June 2012 by Terryn Kelly
Just because school is out and summer has started, it doesn't mean learning and retaining new information has to stop.
The Chemistry Department at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor is hosting it's annual Chem Camp, which is open to grades 3-6. There are two sessions, one which began June 4 and will end on Friday. The second session is June 11-15 at 1:30-4:30 p.m., inside the York Science Center.
The cost is $110 and half price scholarships are available for participants that can show financial need.
The program allows students the ability to have hands-on experience dealing with topics such as polymers, corrosion and metals. They will also learn how to make slime and nylon and turn pennies into silver and gold.
"Yesterday, a group of kids developed their fingerprints, they learned how to clarify water and they learned how the colors for the fireworks are produced," Organic Chemistry Professor Dr. Darrell Watson said. "At the end of these little sessions, I try to do a few exciting demonstrations to get them all excited and motivated."
Watson often gets asked by kids when they are going to learn how to blow things up. He saves this topic for last because he doesn't want the children to only focus on making things explode. On the last day of camp he takes hydrogen balloons outside and blows them up, he likes to end the camp with a bang.
He hopes these enrichment camps will spark an interest as well as have an influence on the children later in their lives on the way they view science.
"Hopefully, as they get older and get into harder and sometimes much more difficult chemistry or science-related courses, they will still want to learn more about the course," Watson said. "We are hoping some kids out of these groups are budding young scientists. Many of us like me are getting a bit older and planning on retiring and we would like to have people to be qualified to take our place."