Chemistry teachers Carolyn Horst and Robert Klaasen recently started new chemistry club open to all students with the goal of performing fun demonstrations and explaining the science behind them.
“We started the club initially there were a couple of former AP Chemistry students last year that expressed an interest in getting into some chemistry competitions,” Horst said. “Mr. Klaasen and I decided it would be a good idea just to open up the club to all students because we offer chemistry honors, regular chemistry and AP Chemistry, so we figured there would be a lot of interest.”
Chemistry Club is available to all students and meets every other Monday during Power Hour B in Room 15-104. The first week the demonstration was electroplating pennies to make them look like they were gold and silver. Electroplating is the process of plating a thin layer of metal onto another piece by using hydrolysis.
“I think it’s very appealing just because even though all the demonstrations and all the things we are going to do are obviously chemistry based, you don’t really have to have a background or experience in chemistry to still appreciate the demonstration,” Horst said.
The club has generated a lot of interest. The sponsors were originally expecting only a dozen or so students to attend the meetings but on their first meeting 31 showed up and watched the demonstration. The following week there were 37 students, so Horst and Klaasen are planning for even more students in future meetings.
“They’re just visually very cool to look at,” Horst said. “We explain the chemistry behind them, so in that way it kind of gives those who haven’t taken chemistry yet a bit of a jumpstart on what they can expect and maybe generate some excitement in that topic.”
By Cayman Alford