UVic chemistry professor Alexandre Brolo holds a beaker overflowing with carbon dioxide created from dry ice. Brolo will lead a highly visual chemistry show on Thursday

Explosive show for United Way

A good chemistry show can open the minds of young people to the wonders of science. A fiery explosion or two helps.

A good chemistry show can open the minds of young people to the wonders of science. A fiery explosion or two helps.

The University of Victoria’s Chemistry Students’ Society is hosting a show on Thursday that promises energetic and colourful chemical reactions, while raising money for the United Way of Greater Victoria.

UVic chemistry professor Alexandre Brolo is leading the demonstrations, and is following in the long tradition of retired professor Reginald Mitchell (a.k.a. Dr. Zonk), who held science shows for kids since the mid-1970s.

“We don’t dress up (like Dr. Zonk), but we try to make a lot of chemical reactions that are visually appealing, especially ones that will get the kids exciting and curious about science,” Brolo said.

The experiments progress from basic reactions like those that produce colour changes in a liquid, to spicy concoctions that generate masses of growing foam, to experiments that rapidly shrink Styrofoam cups.

The perennial favourites are things that go boom, which is where the ethanol cannons and hydrogen balloons come in.

“Hydrogen balloons explode very loud. But if you mix hydrogen with oxygen, they explode much louder,” Brolo said laughing. “I like the explosions. They get the most response from the audience. Everyone likes a good explosion.”

Brolo has taken the helm of the chemistry show for about four years, but he’s an old hand at wowing audiences. He did similar shows in his native Brazil in the 1980s.

“The main thing is to make science interesting and enjoyable. With kids who are young, we want to wake their curiosity, to ask questions and understand the phenomena they’re looking at can be explained.”

The chemistry show is on Nov. 22, 7 p.m. at the Bob Wright Centre at UVic. Entry is $9.50 with proceeds going to the United Way.

See uvic.ca/unitedway.

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria property company plans to replace Saanich apartments with townhouses

Abstract Developments plans 26 townhouses for Gorge Road West

Camosun student starts bursary program for low-income students

The Jor-Dawn Smith Bursary will go to one Greater Victoria graduate in spring 2020

Curtain closes on Sidney’s Star Cinema location

The iconic theatre will move to a temporary location after its last showing Sunday

Semi truck impounded after driver avoids weight scales in Saanich

Driver issued 90-day roadside driving prohibition

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Most Read