Hands-on chemistry workshop gives 5th graders a unique way to learn about science

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — What do solids, liquids, and gases have in common? They all matter! Monday, Rapid City 5th graders got to see and participate in real-life experiments.

Rapid City fifth grader, Peyton Glenn, loves science.

“I do my own mini experiments at home. I put oil over top of water and the oil kind of floated over the water and it was exciting to do it with real chemicals with real scientists who are actually training to be professional scientists and whew I could barely get to sleep last night,” Glenn said.

For the first part of the event, students got to do hands-on projects under the supervision of School of Mines students who also have a passion for science.

“A lot of these students might not be able to see these experiments and be able to do it themselves, so it’s really important to get them interested in STEM early so that they can possibly consider this for a career in the future for themselves,” Student at SDSMT & PR for Chapter of the American Chemical Society, Lily Cutler said.

School of Mines students also demonstrated experiments involving chemicals, like liquid nitrogen.

The SMT students loaded hot water and cold liquid nitrogen into a cannon to shoot out a giant vapor cloud.

“There’s a lot of liquid nitrogen which was probably the best part and I just like it because you get to see a bunch of different experiments for one thing, and then you also get to hangout with your classmates and you get to learn with your classmates,” fifth grader Remy Myers said.

Myers says it’s “cool” to know that the SMT students were once her age, learning about the same science she is learning about now.

“One, we get to go and meet a bunch of new people. Two, we get to learn and make learning fun and three, you just get to hangout with your classmates and other students that were once like you,” Meyers said.

The School of Mines Chapter of the American Chemical Society was able to run this event through a grant from the National American Chemical Society.

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