USC Upstate Chemistry Club Presents “Chemistry Colors our World” At Chapman Cultural Center Oct. 17

October 5, 2015 at 4:44 pm

The University of South Carolina Upstate Chemistry Club will perform a variety of interactive chemical demonstrations to spur appreciation of and interest in chemistry as part of National Chemistry Week on Saturday, October 17 at the Science Center from 12 to 2 p.m. at the Chapman Cultural Center. This year’s theme is “Chemistry Colors our World” and it focuses on the chemistry of food colors and fireworks, rainbows, natural dyes and pigments, and more.

“We will present a dazzling array of chemical reactions,” said Dr. Chris Bender, association professor of chemistry at USC Upstate and advisor to the Chemistry Club. “Some of the demonstrations we’ll have on hand include: testing whether household chemicals are acids or bases, separating inks into their various components, dissolving aluminum with a green powder, making elephant toothpaste, cooling things down to liquid nitrogen temperatures (-320 ˚F), showing how fireworks get their colors, writing and revealing messages with invisible ink, and more!”

The demonstrations are for kids of all ages, but particularly aimed at elementary and middle school children. There will be a mixture of observational and hands-on activities. Additionally, there will be plenty of issues of the American Chemical Society publication Celebrating Chemistry (in English and Spanish), which visitors may take with them and continue learning about chemistry at home (elementary/middle school teachers are welcome to take copies for their whole class). Other giveaways, such as pocket-sized periodic tables, pencils, wrist bands, and stickers will be available but quantities are limited.

For more details, contact Dr. Chris Bender, association professor of chemistry at USC Upstate, at (864) 503-5755 or