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Source: Yasmin Patell, 785-532-2725,
Pronouncer: Yasmin is Yazz-min and Patell is Pah-tell
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-6415,

Monday, Oct. 19, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's local section of the American Chemistry Society will celebrate National Chemistry Week with special chemistry-related activities at the Manhattan Town Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24.

All of the activities are free and open to the public.

The local observance of National Chemistry Week, Oct. 18-24, is organized by the local section of the American Chemical Society and the K-State department of chemistry.

Activities include chemistry magic shows -- with a Halloween flare -- at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., put on by K-State's chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma, the professional chemistry fraternity.

"The show will include shrinking ghosts, colored fire and glowing pickles," said Yasmin Patell, assistant teaching scholar in K-State's department of chemistry and a member of the local section of the American Chemical Society. "It is a show that will appeal to all ages."

Also to be offered will be a glassblowing demonstration at noon by Jim Hodgson, K-State's senior scientific glassblower, as well as hands-on activities for kids: making bouncy balls, slime, chemistry tattoos and a gas from vinegar and baking soda.

Free helium balloons will be handed out and several demonstrations showing fun with chemistry will be given, including collapsing soda cans, how to stick a needle through a balloon without popping it, fruit-powered clocks, hand boilers and metals with memory.

"We celebrate National Chemistry Week because, contrary to what most people think when they hear the word 'chemistry,' chemistry has given us an enormous number of positive and essential benefits that we take for granted in our everyday lives," Patell said.

"Through chemistry we produce catalytic converters, batteries, plastics, computer, and drugs that treat and cure illness," she said. "The more we know about chemistry, the better we can face new challenges such as the energy crisis, a pandemic flu or global famine. Yes, chemistry is pretty important."

National Chemistry Week is an outreach program of the American Chemical Society aimed at improving the public's awareness of chemistry's contributions to everyday lives and its importance to the nation's economy.

The American Chemical Society is the world's largest scientific society with a membership of more than 154,000 chemists and chemical engineers. The society publishes scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.