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Saint Mary’s hosts annual Spooktacular Magic Show

| Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Saint Mary’s students are planning a chemistry show this week to help their club bond with the local community. The annual Halloween Spooktacular Magic Show for local children will take place Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Science Hall. The event is hosted by the Saint Mary’s Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SMAACS), an organization aimed at educating young kids — through various chemical demonstrations — about the art of science.

Senior SMAACS president Morgan Matthews said this is the clubs biggest event of the year, which both the kids and SMAACS members look forward to.

“This event is really enjoyable because we get to share our passion for science with little kids and hopefully encourage them to love science too,” she said. “It’s really great to look at their faces and see their reactions because they think it’s magic. Then we explain to them what’s going on and why it’s reacting in this way and you can kind of see them understand how it works and it’s really inspiring.”

The show originally started off as a small event hosted for faculty kids, senior Courtney Weston said. It has now developed into more of a community outreach event where students are able to share their passion with younger generations in a fun way, she said.

“This is a great event for kids because it’s fun, educational and interesting to see that chemistry is not just this hard subject at school, but it can also be fun,” Weston said. “You can see the application of it and what chemistry is about and how truly exciting and interesting it can be.”

The event’s interactive demonstrations include invisible ink, dry ice bubbles, goo that they can take home and nebulae, Weston said. Every half an hour there will be a big demonstration by a SMAACS member, which includes elephant toothpaste, dry ice cylinders and a lava lamp.

“Our hands-on demonstrations allow the kids to actually learn how to do the experiments themselves,” Matthews said. “This way they can learn that science isn’t just the practical stuff they teach you in the classroom but rather stuff they can do at home, like using a bottle of vinegar from your cabinet to create invisible ink.”

Matthews said the event is not just for the kids, but also for SMAACS members, who will have opportunity to collaborate and interact with others who are also interested in STEM fields.

“We dress in our lab coats and it’s all very exciting to be able to do something you enjoy on a personal level and be able to share that with others,” she said.

One of the club’s main goals is to promote is interest in STEM subjects, Matthews said.

“Most people lack confidence in these fields and usually people only realize they’re interested in it when they’re older,” she said. “So, our goal is to allow kids to start looking at science in a more engaging way and to get them interested in it from a young age.”

In honor of National Chemistry Week, SMAACS is also hosting a fundraiser, selling snacks in the Science Hall from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. every day this week.

“The magic show allows us to encourage the hands-on development of science in a way that is appealing to younger children,” Matthews said.

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