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National Chemistry Week: Free Fun for the Whole Family

It's hard to imagine a world without color, but how much chemistry is involved in the colors we see every day? This year's National Chemistry Week, "Chemistry Colors our World," plans to answer that question.

The weeklong celebration, held October 19 - 24, is hosted by the Central Utah Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the BYU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Many of the events take place on Brigham Young University campus.

All events --- including a symposium, a research poster session, a chemistry workshop for kids and the highly-popular chemical magic shows --- are free and open to the public.

This year's magic shows will run October 19 - 23 in W111 and W112 of the BYU Benson Science Building. Monday shows are at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Friday shows are at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are free and can be reserved online at chem.byu.edu or by calling 801-422-3667. Tickets sell out quickly, but there will be a standby line at each show for those without tickets.

"Chemicals exhibit a wide variety of colors," said BYU professor and magic show presenter Jeffrey Macedone. "The theme is exciting because it allows us to show off abrilliantpart of our demonstrations repertoire."

Magic shows are appropriate for all ages, but do include bright lights and loud noises.

This year's symposium will be held Thursday, October 22, from 3 - 5 p.m., in W140 of the Benson Science Building. The symposium will feature several speakers on the subject "Colors in the World of Chemistry."

Posters describing the current work of faculty-mentored research groups will be displayed in the Benson Science Building lobby on Friday, October 23, with an official reception from 4 - 6 p.m.

The Kids' Hands-On Chemistry Workshop will be held Saturday, October 24, from 2 - 4 p.m. in the Children's Story Room at the Provo Library. BYU professor Jennifer Nielson and her students will help the children conduct fun and safe experiments. Pre-K through elementary students are invited to attend.

Y-Chem, the BYU student chapter of ACS, will be making and selling liquid nitrogen ice cream for $1 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., each day in the Benson Science Building, as well as at the evening magic shows. The process is fun to watch, the product is fun to eat and the proceeds go to Y-Chem activities at BYU and in the community. Y-Chem will also sell chemistry mugs for $5 and t-shirts for $10.

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