Chemistry Outreach - Dr. Gail A. Steehler
Doing science is so much fun that it really must be shared with others. I take chemistry programs to the public so that others can share the fun and wonder of science. I have done programs for groups of all ages--preschoolers to ElderScholars. Programs can be matched to a classroom curriculum or just be fun, enrichment experiences. I will visit elementary or high school classrooms, scout groups, PTA meetings, and just about anywhere else (within a reasonable distance) that I'm invited. When possible, my programs involve hands-on activities. I also train groups of college students to take programs out.
Some of the programs I have presented include
- It's a Gas. This is a program of chemical demonstrations illustrating physical and chemical properties and everyday applications of some gases.
- Amazing Dry Ice. I usually do this program as a hands-on activity for kids 3rd grade or above. It's a fun way to illustrate a variety of concepts related to states of matter and energy.
- Hands-on Classroom Activities. For an elementary classroom (or similar group), I choose one or two hands-on activities that illustrate some aspect of chemistry. Many different activities are possible for kids of any age.
- Polymers. Polymers are giant molecules. They are the structural building materials of our bodies as well as synthetic fibers and plastics. This program works well as a series of demonstrations, and can include hands-on activities for younger audiences.
- React with a Chemist. This is a collection of chemical reactions with lots of visual appeal that give me a chance to talk about chemical principles and applications.
- Careers in Chemistry. For high school groups, I give a fairly straight talk on careers, educational requirements, etc, with some demos thrown in to illustrate a few points. I've also given this talk at elementary career days.
- Chemistry of Colors and Odors. This program describes the chemical and physical basis for our perception of colors and odors. It works best with high school and adult groups.
“Throughout all my studies, history hasn't been as much fun as tonight,” Karim said. “It's firsthand experience hearing it from him and these people. This is just amazing.”
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