For the past 25 years on a given Saturday in October, thousands of people have been converging on the Texas A&M University campus to take part in an Aggie tradition as revered in educational outreach circles as football is in the athletic arena: Chemistry Open House and Science Exploration Gallery.

The 26th anniversary edition of Texas A&M's annual award-winning celebration of all things scientific, occasionally explosive and all-around inspirational is set for Saturday, October 12, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Texas A&M campus.

Visitors are encouraged to start their open house tours by checking in at the "Welcome" tent located at the intersection of Ross and Spence Streets adjacent to the Chemistry Complex to receive a free bag of scientific goodies. A secondary table will be situated in the foyer of the Chemistry Building at the intersection of Ross and Ireland Streets just north of the three red-brick fountains. Free parking is available in Lot 50 north of the Zachry Engineering Center, and a lunch buffet is available at Sbisa Dining Hall.

"The Department of Chemistry takes an active role in community outreach in an effort to positively affect the future of chemical education," said Dr. Joanna Goodey-Pellois, senior lecturer of chemistry and event organizer. "We hope students and families will remember the excitement and surprise they feel during our demonstrations."

This year's theme, Energy: Now and Forever, will be showcased throughout the day-long festival, which is highlighted by three presentations of the popular Chemistry Road Show (10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m.) in Room 100 of the main Chemistry Building. The show is recommended for all ages and includes popular science demonstrations, such as fires, explosions, weird polymers and super-cold materials. Door prizes will be given at all three shows, which feature seating on a first-come, first-served basis and tend to fill up quickly. As a reminder, Room 100 is not handicap-accessible.

Hands-on and computer activities, guided laboratory tours and demonstrations also will be in progress throughout the day as part of the Science Exploration Gallery. In addition to the Department of Chemistry, the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Biology as well as several departments within the Dwight Look College of Engineering will be represented. Students from the Texas A&M chapter of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) also will participate, as will the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History.

The open house is held annually in conjunction with National Chemistry Week, celebrated this year from Oct. 20 to 26. The event is sponsored in part by Hayden-McNeil Publishing, the Texas A&M College of Science, the Texas A&M University-American Chemical Society Local Chapter and the First Year Chemistry Program.

For more information regarding the open house, visit http://www.chem.tamu.edu/openhouse.


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Joanna Goodey-Pellois, (979) 845-7112 or jpellois@mail.chem.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

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