MIDDLETOWN – SUNY Orange recently hosted 70 children between the ages of 5 and 10, along with their families, on the Middletown campus as the College’s annual Kids Chemistry Night made its in-person return after being halted by the pandemic. Faculty from the Science, Engineering and Architecture Department, along with students from the Chemistry Club, performed demonstrations and activities including colorful flames, exploding balloons and pumpkins, rockets, breathing fire, screaming gummy bears, and elephant toothpaste.
The children also rotated between three rooms within the Rowley Center for Science and Engineering, each with a “Health and Medicine” theme. In one room, they learned about DNA and how it relates to everyone’s unique characteristics by extracting real DNA out of fresh strawberries. In a second room, student volunteers taught them about how oil and water do not mix and how too much fat intake can be bad for your health, before helping the children make colorful lava lamps–that really bubbled—that they could take home. The final room featured student volunteers who taught the children about polymers inside the body such as proteins, leading to a project in which the children were able to make their own polymers—colorful and gooey slim—to take home. The event received additional support from the American Chemical Society, the College’s CSTEP Program (Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program) and a host of College volunteers. Pictured are professors Dr. Dustin McCall and Jacqueline Bair.