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COLLEGE STATION --

In the spirit of all things scientific, occasionally explosive and all-around inspirational, the Texas A&M University Department of Chemistry is gearing up to host another edition of one of the most vibrant educational attractions to be found on the Texas A&M campus.

Texas A&M Chemistry invites science enthusiasts from across the Brazos Valley and the state of Texas to experience the 28th anniversary edition of one of Texas A&M's proudest fall traditions, the Chemistry Open House and Science Exploration Gallery, set for Saturday, October 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the main Chemistry Building complex.

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 plaza outside of the Chemistry Building at the intersection of Ross and Ireland Streets just north of the three red-brick water fountains. Free parking is available in Lot 51 north of the Zachry Engineering Center, with additional paid parking to be found in the Northside Garage.

"The Chemistry Open House is a fun and exciting way for the faculty, staff and students of the Department of Chemistry to share their love of chemistry and science in general with the community at large," said Dr. Stephanie A. McCartney, First Year Chemistry Program lecturer and event organizer. "We hope the day's activities and demonstrations encourage others to learn more about the science that surrounds them in their everyday lives."

The day-long festival will be highlighted by four presentations of the popular Chemistry Road Show (9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m.) in Room 100 (which is now handicap-accessible) 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. Please note that the free tickets for seating, which can be obtained at the welcome tent in the water-fountain plaza, are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and tend to go quickly.

Hands-on and polymer experimentation, computer activities, guided laboratory tours and demonstrations also will be in progress throughout the day as part of the Science Exploration festivities. In addition to faculty, students and staff from the Department of Chemistry, the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Department of Biology and Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics will be represented. Students from the Texas A&M chapters of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) and the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) also will participate.

As part of the celebratory event, the Texas A&M ACS section is sponsoring an illustrated poem contest for area K-12 students. The deadline for entries is Friday, October 9. Click here for additional information on contest rules and the official entry form.

The open house is held annually in conjunction with National Chemistry Week, celebrated this year from Oct. 18 to 24 with the theme, Chemistry Colors Our World. The event is sponsored in part by VWR Scientific, 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.

-aTm-

Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Stephanie A. McCartney, (979) 845-3010 or stephanie.mccartney@chem.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

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