For Chemistry Club, a favorable reaction


April 09, 2002|By Dana Klosner-Wehner | Dana Klosner-Wehner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE ATHOLTON High School Chemistry Club amazed and amused elementary school children at the east Columbia library last week. The club, which presented its "Chemistry and Magic Show," consists of six students ranging from sophomores to seniors.

The group's performance of chemical tricks revolved around an original script, modeled after the educational television show The Magic School Bus. The students wrote the script and chose the tricks.

In the tradition of the television show, the students donned white coats and took "field trips" to places such as the farm, the bank and the chemistry lab to demonstrate scientific facts. They demonstrated such things as chemiluminescence, rainbow-colored flames and the workings of air pressure.

In a demonstration of air pressure, sophomore Timothy Elliott placed a flaming piece of paper in a beaker. He then placed an egg on the small opening on top of the beaker. The egg was sucked inside.

"The lit match sucked the oxygen out of the beaker," Timothy explained. "That made the pressure on the outside greater than the pressure on the inside, causing the egg to get sucked in."

A glowing chemical appeared in a beaker when the club president, senior Theresa Donohue, mixed concentrated bleach and Luminol, a material used to detect the presence of blood in criminal investigations.

"The Luminol energizes the bleach," she explained. "This caused the two chemicals to react and glow."

But it's not just a chemical attraction that draws young people to this club.

The club prepares the show in the fall, practices every week and then performs at libraries and schools in the spring, said Theresa, who has been a member for four years.

"This club lets me perform," said senior Allison Greuter, who dreams of performing on Broadway.

"It's so much fun to work with the kids," said Theresa, who plans to study biology in college. "The club lets me do things I wouldn't get to do in class."

For some, chemistry is the driving force. "I joined the club because my sister was in it," senior Marsha Johnson said. "But now I've enjoyed chemistry so much I'm going to make it my major in college."

The children enjoyed the performance.

"I liked when they made orange fire," said Austin Fusclier, a third-grader at Worthington Elementary School. "I'm going to try it at home."

Not if his mother has anything to say about it.

"I think it's really neat that the high-schoolers put on this show," said Karen Fusclier. "But we won't be trying any experiments at home."

The club's two other members are junior Colleen Bredland and sophomore Andy Fornadel. Its sponsor is Atholton High School chemistry teacher Wally White.

Talented students

Congratulations to the Atholton Elementary School children who received awards at the Maryland Instructional Computer Coordinators Association convention, held at the Baltimore Convention Center last month.

Competition categories for the MICCA Multimedia Contest were broken into grade levels. In the youngest group (kindergarten through second grade), first-grader Jordan Long took first place in graphic arts. Second-grader Ryan Nash finished second in the same category.

In the next division (third through fifth grade), fifth-grader Kathryn Powell placed first in desktop publishing, and fourth-grader Nell Kropf placed first in graphic arts.

The school's second-grade reading group, sponsored by teachers Carol Phillips and Joan Bannon, won for its presentation of an original fairy tale. Reading group members are Alison Curry, Edward Zhou, Janet Dabu, Jordan Brody, Katelyn Rogers, Madeleine Smith, Michelle Seu, Evan Young, Anna Sandler, Erica Heaphy, Hannah Cohan, Justin Friedel, Kevin Wiechelt, Louisa Nanan, Nikki Wines, Anthony DeFelice, Hunter McDonough, Hailey Asmussen, Karen Salvaggio, Matthew Thomas, Michael Hoagland and Taylor Beaumont.

Become a lifesaver

A free adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation class will be offered from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Hammond High School. The class is sponsored by Howard County General Hospital.

Registration is required.

Information: 410-740-7601.

History of Columbia

People in our neighborhood often wonder about the origins of our unusual street names. From 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow, staff from the Columbia Archives will answer those questions at "Get the Real Story on Street Names," to be held in the boardroom of Columbia Association headquarters, 10221 Wincopin Circle.

Guests will be given access to a database where they can find the original poem from which their street name was derived.

"All of the street names in Columbia were derived from works of art and literature," said Barbara Kellner of the Columbia Archives.

Guests will become privy to little-known facts, such as which street name in town is a result of a misspelling.

The event is free, but registration is requested.

Information: Barbara Kellner, 410-715-3103.

Night for candidates

Meet the candidates for the Long Reach Village Board at 7 o'clock tonight at Stonehouse in Long Reach Village Center, 8775 Cloudleap Court.

Information: 410-730-8113.

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