College of Science

Clemson students share the ‘fun’ in fundamentals of chemistry with area children


LIBERTY – The Sarlin Community Branch Library was transformed into a science lab Feb. 1 as Clemson chemistry students and area children created slime, dissolved Styrofoam and made glassware disappear as part of the third annual “Fun With Chemistry” outreach event.

Chem student and boy making slime
Clemson chemistry students shared their love of chemistry with local children at the annual Fun with Chemistry event February 1.

More than 20 students from the Chemistry Graduate Student Organization and Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS) conducted hands-on experiments with children from around the Upstate.

”Our students are here trying to get the community interested in chemistry – and science in general – by showing them a few really cool demonstrations,” said department of chemistry assistant professor Leah Casabianca, who is faculty co-advisor to SAACS along with chemistry senior lecturer Tania Houjeiry.

Eight-year-old Amos Graves wowed the chemistry students with his spirited devotion to science. “I am here today because I dream of becoming a chemist,” said Graves, who has participated in the event in previous years.

The children were not the only ones enthusiastic to engage in this outreach event. Matthew Cullen, president of the undergraduate student chemistry club, loved having the opportunity to share his passion with others.

“I just enjoy doing it,” Cullen said. “This is my favorite part. I love the way you show a simple chemistry experiment and the kids are like ‘wow.’ It’s like the coolest thing they have ever seen.”

Graduate student Tatiana Estrada also expressed her interest in educating the youth. “Seeing the kids understand what is going on is my favorite part,” Estrada said. “Seeing them light up is nice.”

Chemistry undergrad volunteers
Members of the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (pictured here) and members of the Chemistry Graduate Student Organization conducted fun, hands-on experiments with a raucous gathering of children from around the Upstate Feb. 1, 2020.

The two organizations combined their skills and worked tirelessly in order to make the chemistry magic happen.

“Everything was organized by the students, so all of the credit really goes to them,” Casabianca said. “They worked really hard on this, and they are very excited to show that they are very passionate about chemistry.”

SAACS is an undergraduate club that welcomes any Clemson student who has an interest in chemistry. With its passion for science, the organization will continue to host several outreach events at schools and libraries around the Upstate.

View all the photos from the event at our Facebook gallery.

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