By Cody Thompson

Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND –  Put on your safety goggles and get ready for an afternoon of fun and education because the “Texas A&M Chemistry Road Show” will be at the Grapeland Elementary School gymnasium at noon on Friday, June 2.

The event, sponsored by the Grapeland Public Library, is a public service program with two complimentary and interlocking goals: to entertain and educate students using chemistry.

“It’s a free event and we really hope to see all the kids in Grapeland. It’s going to be fun,” GPL executive director Ashley Corns said. “It’s a great chance for kids to learn about science while being entertained.”

The road show uses sensory impact (touch, taste and smell) to help students get a better understanding of chemistry, according to the TAMCRS website.

As students enter the gym they will be able to see a long row of tables, covered in white paper and assortment of chemical glassware and apparatuses and accented by a chemistry road show banner, the website said.

“One or two demonstrators will finish their preparations, arranging balloons and adjusting equipment,” according to a TAMCRS press release. “The demonstrators, who begin by talking for a few moments about the show, hold what seem to be chemistry books. As they talk the books in their hands suddenly burst into flames. The Chemistry Road Show has begun.”

During the rest of the show, the students will see chemical wonders that turn ordinary objects and events into exciting learning opportunities, including, but not limited to: reactions that change color from clear, to brown, to purple and then clear again; a genie that emerges from a bottle; iron that burns as brightly as the sun and a pinch of dry powder that instantly solidifies a cup full of water, according to the press release.

“Their eyes are dazzled by colorful reactions and polymers growing before their eyes and their minds are stretched as the demonstrators explain the wonders they see,” the press release said. “Without leaving their seats the students take part in experiments, make observations and test hypotheses, and so learn that they know more about science than they may have ever guessed.”

The demonstrators will answer any questions the students might have about the experiments at the conclusion of the show.

“This is just a sampling of the remarkable demonstrations we include in the road show,” the press release said. “In each show, we strive to entertain and excite audience members with sensory impact while teaching them that chemicals and chemistry are not only vital to our lives, but can also be fascinating and fun.”

To learn more about the Texas A&M Chemistry Road Show, visit www.chem.tamu.edu/roadshow/.

Cody Thompson may be reached via e-mail at cthompson@messenger-news.com.