EEE Class Teaches Guest Chemistry Lesson

Seniors+Atreyo+Ghosh+and+Tony+Sun+along+with+junior+Scott+McAfee+watch+as+elephant+toothpaste+is+created.+Photo+by+Kathryn+Weaver

Seniors Atreyo Ghosh and Tony Sun along with junior Scott McAfee watch as ‘elephant toothpaste” is created. Photo by Kathryn Weaver

Pen Terry

On Tuesday, May 7, on the benches outside the north commons, seniors Atreyo Ghosh and Tony Sun, along with junior Scott McAfee presented two experiments to teacher Rachel Victor’s science class.
The students, who are part of the investigations and seminars class taught by EEE teacher Kathryn Fishman-Weaver, presented two chemistry lessons with fun experiments to go along with them.
“We are demonstrating endothermic and exothermic reactions in a fun and slightly explosive way,” McAfee said, “so that we can keep [Mrs. Victor’s class] engaged while they are also learning.”
The first of the two experiments presented was the “elephant toothpaste” lab, in which high concentration hydrogen peroxide, potassium iodide and dish soap react and very quickly produce large quantities of warm foam, resembling toothpaste.
“It demonstrated that chemical reactions can be really fun,” McAfee said.
The second experiment involved a reaction between pure sodium metal and crushed ice which releases a vast amount of energy incredibly fast and excites hydrogen and oxygen gas.
“It was a little bit bigger [of] an explosion than any of us were expecting,” McAfee said. “It was safe though; it was behind a blast shield.”
The guest chemistry lessons came about when Weaver overheard Victor reaching out to the chemistry teachers about having lessons, and she volunteered her class.
“I think it is helping [her class] because they are getting some neat science content … and they have also seen some really, really cool demonstrations,” Weaver said. “But more than that, I think it’s helping both communities because we are forming a partnership, a friendship between two student groups that don’t always get to interact.”
By Pen Terry

Seniors Atreyo Ghosh and Tony Sun along with junior Scott McAfee watch as 'elephant toothpaste" is created. Photo by Kathryn Weaver
Seniors Atreyo Ghosh and Tony Sun along with junior Scott McAfee watch as ‘elephant toothpaste” is created. Photo by Kathryn Weaver