This afternoon the Washington College Chemistry Club hosted its annual exploding pumpkins event on campus, to the delight of a large crowd who had gathered to revel in science-based gourd detonation. The event, which is conducted in conjunction with the American Chemical Society Student Affiliates Club and GAMMA ETA Chemistry Honor Society, draws Washington College students, students from Kent and Queen Anne’s Country public schools, and combustion-loving Eastern Shore community members each year ahead of Halloween.
Students put together several experiments to test the best way to either explode designs into pumpkins to create unique jack-o-lanterns or generate emissions of various ooze and smoke to come out of unique designs. This year, methods used to induce cool explosions and Halloween-themed demos included glow-in-the-dark luminol, color changing acid and base paired with dry ice, liquid nitrogen, and elephant toothpaste (a foamy substance caused by the rapid decomposition of hydrogen peroxide using potassium iodide or yeast and warm water as a catalyst).
“We take immense pleasure in sharing the wonders of chemistry with our students and the promising leaders of tomorrow,” said Sarah Arradondo, Washington College Assistant Professor of Chemistry. “For nearly a decade, our campus has eagerly anticipated the annual tradition of using science to infuse Halloween with excitement. The Chemistry Department at Washington College is committed to uniting the community through captivating autumn experiments and thrilling displays of chemical phenomena.”
Washington College’s Chemistry department regularly conducts events and activities to engage the local community in the wonders of using science in an effort to encourage more interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related degrees and careers. In November, the department will host AP students from Queen Anne’s High School to tour and conduct experiments in their state-of-the-art lab.
To see some of the clever pumpkin explosions, go here.
For more information on Washington College’s chemistry department and degree options visit https://www.washcoll.
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