University of Rochester

Volcanoes to Mushroom Clouds: sixth graders to see that science in the lab can be a real blast

April 18, 1995

EDITORS: On May 13, 1995, 60 sixth graders from Rochester Schools #4 and #30 will participate in some explosive and educational demonstrations. All activities will take place in Lander Auditorium, Hutchison Hall. We welcome media attention. Call 275-4128 to make arrangements.

Here's the schedule:

Explosive Demonstrations 8:45-9:15 a.m.

 The eruption of a "chemical volcano" that produces a green lava-like flow, sparks and smoke.

 A red hot wire combining with zinc and sulfur to create a flash of light and a mushroom shaped cloud.

 Sixth graders detonating contact explosives made from mixing ammonia and iodine.

Group Demonstrations 9:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m.

The students will be divided into four groups and will rotate through four half-hour demonstrations.

1) Music in Motion: A bright red laser beam is reflected off mirrors attached to speakers and projected onto a wall. When music is played the mirrors on the speakers move to create a moving laser light show. The properties of lasers, light and sound will be explained.

2) Polymers: In this hands-on demonstration, students will learn about common polymers (chewing gum, paper, styrofoam) and then make their own nylon and brightly colored slime by mixing solutions together.

3) Science and Soap Bubbles: Students will make CUBIC BUBBLES and explore the geometry, chemistry and optics of soap suds.

4) Physics Potpourri: A variety of physics experiments including cans crushed with air pressure and the shattering of flowers frozen with liquid nitrogen are planned.

Lunch 11:40 a.m.-12:40 p.m.

Closing Lecture 12:40 p.m.

This lecture will focus on career opportunities in the fields of science and engineering.

The second annual Material World Science Day is sponsored by the University of Rochester Chapter of the Materials Research Society.