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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Creating a positive reaction

Community+members+of+all+ages+visited+campus+for+last+years+Chemistry+Open+House+on+Oct.+21%2C+2017.
Photo by Photo by Dalia Muayad

Community members of all ages visited campus for last year’s Chemistry Open House on Oct. 21, 2017.

Alka seltzer rockets, space rocks, colorful slime and other experiments lined Ross Street on campus this Saturday as part of the Chemistry Open House. The annual science event has drawn community members of varying ages for the past three decades.
“We normally get about 2,000 to 3,000 people and they come from about a radius of 100 miles,” Joanna Pellois, chemistry graduate advisor, said.
Director Stephanie McCartney became the organizer of the event in 2014, and said since then has strived to make the event line up with National Chemistry Week.
“There’s a theme every year, and I’ve been trying to incorporate that theme into our overall day,” McCartney said. “This year is ‘Chemistry Rocks,’ so we brought in people from geosciences, we got geology and geophysics and some people from atmospheric sciences and geography. It’s just really cool to have all these other sciences included to see how chemistry interacts with everything.”
In the chemistry building, Jim Pennington’s road show about fires, explosions and chemical reactions recommenced every 30 minutes, with some shows reaching 300 viewers. Across the street, kids flocked to various booths to learn about space rocks, hurricanes and the chemical composition of College Station’s water.
The Tress family, one family among hundreds that attended the open house, attended so that College Station High School sophomore Natalie Tress could get extra credit for her chemistry class while also learning more about the sciences.
“I thought the road show was really cool,” Natalie Tress said. “I’m thinking about doing engineering here after high school.”
Michelle Abney, seventh grade teacher at A&M Consolidated Middle School, said she has enjoyed attending the event for multiple years because of the benefits it brings to her and her students.
“I love getting the DNA from strawberries, and I’ve done that several times with my students,” Abney said. “I take the ideas from here and take it to the classroom, and that’s one of the most successful ‘wow’ factor activities, that [the kids] do.”
Along with gaining curriculum ideas, Abney said she enjoyed seeing familiar faces buzzing around the booths.
“Seeing all my students here is amazing,” Abney said. “I’ve been seeing so many former students, former middle schoolers and now high schoolers, getting really excited about science.”

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