Visitors to Texas A&M University can make their own polymers in a hands-on laboratory and watch an elaborate demonstration with explosions and fires at the Chemistry Department's open house Saturday, Nov. 13.

The open house will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. as part of the 12th anniversary of National Chemistry Week. Dr. John Hogg, professor of chemistry and university professor of undergraduate teaching excellence, said the open house appeals to people of all ages.

"Almost every activity is appropriate for all ages. I'd recommend this for first graders through high school students and adults," Hogg said. "We want to make people aware of the impact chemistry has on their lives by involving them in some fun activities."

Open house activities will include performances of the Chemistry Road Show, tours of research laboratories and the Texas A&M Cyclotron, computer molecular modeling, and hands-on laboratory activities including 'make and take' experiments focused on polymer chemistry. The hands-on labs will start at 11 a.m.

Hogg and Dr. Larry Peck, director of the freshman chemistry program, founded the Chemistry Road Show, Hogg said. The show's elaborate demonstrations feature explosions, fire, creations of weird polymers and other odd substances. The show performs demonstrations throughout the year for schools and other groups.

"We do a lot of flashy demonstrations and relate them to practical chemistry so the average person can understand the significance of it," he said. "We do the show for people as young as third grade up to adult groups. I've done the show hundreds of times and I still love it. It's good educational entertainment for everybody."

The Chemistry Road Show will be held at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Arthur E. Martell Lecture Hall, Room 100 of the main Chemistry Building.

The National Chemistry Week activities at Texas A&M have been honored several times by the American Chemical Society.

Contact Stephanie Dube, (409) 845-4646; e-mail sld@univrel.tamu.edu.

Dube Stephanie

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