New Paltz students engage children with hands-on science activities at Family Mole Night

NEW PALTZ – The Chemistry Department of the State University of New York at New Paltz hosted a “Family Mole Night” in celebration of National Chemistry Week. It was held on Friday, Oct. 26, in the Coykendall Science Building on the SUNY New Paltz campus.

“Family Mole Night” included hands-on science activities and demonstrations that aimed to introduce children to fun and playful ways of learning about science. Activities ranged from “Nanoparticles in your sunscreen,” in which participants experimented with ultraviolet beads, to “Dementor’s Kiss Ice Cream,” a tasty introduction to liquid nitrogen. Each of the activities highlighted this year’s theme: “Nanotechnology! The smallest big idea in science.”

The event was attended by more than 40 children, aged 8-12 years old, who were guided through the activities by SUNY New Paltz undergraduate students. “Family Mole Night is a great opportunity for young children in our area to visit our labs and see the facilities at the college,” said Professor Pamela St. John, chair of the Chemistry Department at New Paltz. “In addition to bringing awareness of chemistry into the local community, the event also gave New Paltz students a chance to teach residents about the role of chemistry in everyday life.”

The Chemistry Department is part of the School of Science & Engineering at SUNY New Paltz. Founded in 2001, the School of Science and Engineering adheres to the highest standards in the teaching of science, mathematics and engineering and promoting scientific discovery, innovation and research and the practical application of research for the local, national and global betterment of humanity. An integral part of the School’s mission and focus is on student and faculty partnership in research. The results of these research efforts are evident in both the sustained output of high-quality, peer-reviewed publications and faculty and student presentations at regional, national and international professional meetings and conferences.

National Chemistry Week is an annual event sponsored by the American Chemical Society, a congressionally chartered independent membership organization.