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Intellect

Area secondary school students invited to free BYU Open Lab Days May 12, 19

Lasers, rockets, and explosions will be going off the next two Saturdays on the Brigham Young University campus. The annual Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Open Lab Days will take place May 12 and 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Open Lab Day will teach science concepts to local students from grades 7-12 free of charge. For more information and to register, visit chem.byu.edu.

Students will wear safety goggles and gloves to gain free hands-on experience with science. Supervised by faculty and BYU students, participants will complete several experiments on their own, watch unforgettable magic demonstrations and even cool off with scrumptious ice cream made using liquid nitrogen. They will also tour the laser, synthetic chemistry and magnetic resonance labs on campus.

The purpose of the annual event is to draw attention to chemistry and the scientific process.

“This is one of our biggest outreach efforts to the community,” said Scott Burt, Y-Chem advisor and a BYU chemistry professor. “We hope that the younger students will be motivated to pursue chemistry in high school and that high school students will be motivated to pursue chemistry in university.”  

Those interested in attending need to register online, wear closed-toed shoes and long pants for safety reasons and meet in W140 Ezra Taft Benson Building on the south end of campus. Come prepared to study the mechanics of a blasting rocket, be dazzled by explosive chemical reactions and break down the chemicals in sunscreen.

This fun event will teach about science in a welcoming environment, according to Burt. “Even if these students don't end up being chemists, we hope that they will have a better understanding of what chemistry is and what chemists do,” he said.

Y-Chem, the BYU student chapter of the American Chemical Society, is sponsoring the event.

“It is a great way to show that chemistry really is more than what you read in a book,” Nick Teodoro, Y-Chem president, said. “It [also] gives [students] an opportunity to see what amazing facilities BYU has.”

For more information or to register, visit chem.byu.edu.

Writer: Preston Wittwer

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