SAACS volunteers at Woodlands Academy

In honor of National Chemistry Week, the Lake Forest College Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS) volunteered their time to do demonstrations for the Chemistry Club at Woodlands Academy on Friday, October 22. 

High school students ranging from freshmen to seniors enjoyed their lunch while talking with Lake Forest students about what it’s like to study chemistry in college.

“We’re the college version of you,” said SAACS leader Leah Frenette ’12 while introducing the group. She showed the students how air inside balloons contracts at liquid nitrogen temperatures by stuffing several balloons into a small cooler filled with liquid nitrogen, performing a great chemistry illusion.

Tom Pospiech ’14 demonstrated the chemiluminescence of luminol in a “disco show” and Huy Hoang ’14 ignited methanol canons in the hallway. All demonstrations impressed upon the high school students how cool chemistry can be.

Science instructor and moderator of the Chemistry Club at Woodlands Academy, Linda Tilton, was so impressed that she plans to organize demonstrations for her students to do at local elementary schools. “We will join together and spread the love of chemistry,” she said. The two chemistry organizations plan on sharing demonstration ideas that appeal to students interested in science.

“It’s so much nicer to have students talk to students,” Tilton said, pointing out that a teacher’s influence can only reach so far. Volunteer visits from local college students helps push the high school students to continue into higher education.

SAACS also volunteers at Waukegan middle schools during the winter semester.