On Thursday 19th January 2012, 39 High School Students from around the state visited the School of Chemistry, Hobart to participate in the annual Science Experience organised by the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology at the University of Tasmania.
Students spent a jam-packed afternoon in the lab making slime and bouncy balls, smelly esters, crystal gardens and doing some colourful chromatography. There were also some exciting demonstrations including the legendary “exploding gummy bear”. Great fun was had by all.
The School of Chemistry once again attended Agfest, Tasmania’s prestigious agricultural show, which was recently held at Carrick, from 5 to 7 of May 2010. The Chemistry staff enthralled the public with various working displays including the ever popular fire syringe, perpetual motion machine and Sterling engine. The periodic table handouts were very popular!
The day included a high amount of SLIME creating which was a big hit with the young and young at heart. This was supplemented by the preparation of slimy alginate worms, much to the horror of various visitors. Aside from the periodic tables, the School also had a number of giveaways including metal bookmarks, tins of mints, stickers, fridge magnets, pens, brochures, and not to forget a good supply of sweets.
The School of Chemistry has once again had an active participation in the UTAS Open Days in Launceston on August 21 and Hobart on August 28 2011.Course information and information on what you can do with a degree in chemistry were provided to prospective students, and the importance of chemistry in today’s world was highlighted through demonstrations, building tours and a chemistry show.
Children, and the young at heart, were also catered for with slime on-hand.
In Hobart, the information booth met many enthused future students throughout the day keen on acquiring as much information on Chemistry courses.
The guess the element competition and slime attractions continued to be a big hit with the community.
Whilst the politicians have been arguing over whether climate change is real or not, and whether we should or shouldn’t have a carbon tax, Dr Andrew Seen from the School of CHemistry has been busy presenting the 2011 Chemistry Youth Lecture considering alternatives to fossil fuels. Andrew’s chemistry show, Climate change and a not so serious look at alternatives to fossil fuels, considers a number of fuels with most resulting in fire balls, explosions and loud bangs.
Alternatives to fossil fuels include biogas from cows and the development of a new energy unit called the Cow Power, ethanol, fluidised powders such as Lycopodium powder and coffee whitener, and of course hydrogen. The chemistry lecture includes some lessons in combustion chemistry, with a demonstration that more fuel does not necessarily result in a bigger bang, and a hydrogen explosion in a Pringles tube that is well worth the wait to achieve just the right mix of hydrogen and oxygen.
Andrew also demonstrates his new hydrogen powered iPod, with the added advantage that if you don’t like the music there is a quick fix to that when it becomes a BOOM box. Youth lectures have been presented throughout the state with the support of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and the Tasmanian Branch of ANZAAS, and without any building evacuations to date.
Authorised by the Head of School, Physical Sciences
5 March, 2012