Millikin Students Prove Science is Fun with Chemistry Live! Event

Emily Chudzik, News Editor

On Saturday, February 28, Millikin science students went to the Mount Zion District Library to demonstrate fun experiments for children in the community.

Millikin’s chapter of the American Chemical Society was contacted by library staff after they held demonstration s at the Decatur Public Library and asked for something similar. About 30 children came to the hour and a half event.

Five stations were set up for children and their families to conduct their own experiments while learning about science in the process. At one station, children could make their own lava lamps with oil, water, and Alka-Seltzer, which taught them about density. At another station, they could clean pennies with basic home cleaning supplies, such as Lysol, to test bacteria resistance to antibodies. The crowd favorite was the slime making table, where children mixed together glue and food coloring.

“[Whenever we do demonstrations, we] always do the slime table,” Emily Talbott, junior biology pre-optometry major and president of ACS, said. “When you hand a kid an object they can physically manipulate with their hands and it’s colorful and they can take it home with them for a few days, their eyes light up. We even had adults and the librarians making some. They love it. Everyone gets involved with slime.”

Junior biology major with a Spanish minor and ACS member Sarah Hickey manned the penny cleaning station. “It’s cool to show them stuff they may not have seen before. By seeing experiments being done, you get the visual aspect of it, which is pretty cool,” Hickey said.

The ACS has been conducting demonstrations like these for some time now. They usually hold them on visit days on the arrival court, and in the past, they went to elementary schools. Their first library demonstration was this past September. The purpose behind holding these experiments is to get kids excited about science at an early age.

Jessica Kerr, junior biology major with a pre-veterinary focus with a Spanish minor and member of ACS, said, “I always love working with kids, and I don’t often get to with all of the university extracurriculars. It’s a great way to spread the fun parts of science to children who could one day want a future in the field.”

“We need to get kids in science to spark [their interest] early. I became interested in science in about fourth or fifth grade. I went to a similar science fair event, and it inspired me to love science,” Talbott said. She went on to explain some of the experiences that contributed to her passion for science, like being a part of advanced science classes and getting to travel to South Carolina to compete in the National Toy Challenge. “I want to give back to children and show that it’s fun [to be in science]. There are so many things you can do in life, and [science] can open up opportunities for them.”

There will be more events in the community in the future. On April 25, from 10:30-12:30 p.m., they will hold another demonstration at the Decatur Public Library. They hope to do more library demonstrations, as well as expand to elementary schools.

The ACS is looking for more students to get involved. They will need more help if they hope to continue these events.

If you are interested in joining the ACS, or would like more information, contact Emily Talbott at [email protected].