From public demonstrations and lectures to themed breakfasts, chemists from coast-to-coast let loose their limitless passion for the field during last October’s National Chemistry Week (NCW). At Edmonton’s TELUS World of Science Centre, hundreds of children and adults decimated NCW coordinator Ian Phillip’s 12 kilogram supply of white glue, which they transformed into silly putty. The kids shouted, “fire in the hole!” as Phillips demonstrated combustion reactions via a Methanol Whoosh Bottle. 

CIC Toronto’s NCW coordinator Lana Mikhaylichenko teamed up with Pueblo Science and the University of Toronto Scarborough Chemistry Club to take NCW to public libraries. Children and their parents created slime from glue and Borax, performed ink and candy chromatography, pushed needles through balloons and received an introduction to oxidation-reduction reactions when volunteers created a foam geyser known as elephant’s toothpaste from household items.

On the East Coast, students at Charlottetown’s University of Prince Edward Island celebrated Mole Day — the unofficial holiday commemorating Avogadro’s number (6.022×1023) — with a 6:02 am breakfast and a celebratory ice cream cake. The next morning, senior chemistry students opened up their lab to the public and performed NCW presentations and demos for children and adults. 

At Sydney’s Cape Breton University, students and CIC Maritime Local Section chair Stephanie MacQuarrie kicked off NCW by putting on a Chemistry Magic Show. To read more about last year’s NCW activities, visit www.cheminst.ca/NCW2015