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ChemFest this weekend at Carnegie center

 

October 20, 2009



Oxygen is the third most common element in the Sun and Earth. Thousands of carbon compounds are essential to life processes. The potassium in salt creates a violet flame.

Thousands of students and visitors to Carnegie Science Center will learn about these elements and other chemistry concepts at ChemFest on Friday, Oct. 23, and Saturday, Oct. 24.

Visitors will get up close and personal with some of childhood's beloved chemistry creations, like slimy oobleck, glow-in-the-dark cookies, and superballs. Nearly 30 local chemistry organizations will lead demonstrations that highlight the elemental concepts that are found in everyday life, as well as present information on the wide array of career opportunities by those who are in the field today.

"Chemists serve in a variety of positions with widely ranging job descriptions," said Linda Ortenzo, who directs the program at Carnegie Science Center. "One of the missions of ChemFest is to help young people understand that careers in chemistry offer more opportunities than they may realize. We also want them to understand how chemistry forms the foundation of the tools, technology, and products we use every day.

More than 1,700 elementary and middle school students from underserved schools will participate in ChemFest 2009 on Friday, Oct. 23, thanks to financial funding from three Pittsburgh organizations. Combined funding from the Society of Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh, the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh, and PPG Industries will cover field trip costs for the students to attend ChemFest 2009.

ChemFest 2009 celebrates the 22nd anniversary of National Chemistry Week, this year themed "Chemistry – It's Elemental!" to help visitors understand the essential role chemistry plays in everyday life. Nearly every object a person comes in contact with during the course of a day was impacted in some way by a chemist, from the plastic alarm clock that wakes them in the morning to the toothpaste they use before going to bed at night.

ChemFest 2009 is sponsored by the American Chemical Society, with support from Bayer, PPG, the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh, and the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh.

 

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