The legend of Harry Potter apparated in real life into the Waterloo Summit Centre for the Environment (WSCE) in Huntsville, Ont. on April 29-30. The event was the first annual Harry Potter – Science and Magic! outreach program, organized by Brock University chemistry professor Lydia Chen and the WSCE’s Colin Yates. About 180 Grade 6 students received hands-on instruction in the mysteries of chemistry with such spells as “serpent’s tongue” (hydrogen peroxide, potassium iodide), “engorgement charm” (dry ice, glycerin), “bubbling cauldron” (dry ice, dish detergent) and “Grindylow’s powder” (Scotch guard and sand). The Chemical Institute of Canada’s Chemical Education Fund helped finance the event.
Chen discussed her outreach initiative June 4 at the Educating Students, Instructors, and Public symposium at the 97th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition in Vancouver.