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Chemistry outreach featured at family fun fair

The Department of Chemistry's Outreach Program with two tables of hands-on experiments and demonstrations, and two Energy and U shows are featured highlights of this year's Math & Science Family Fun Fair, Saturday, November 19.

At the popular Energy and U show, professors from the departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Materials Science will explain energy through screaming gummy bears, explosions and flames during two shows, which are scheduled for 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in 100 Smith Hall.

Math plus science equals a day of fun and learning at the fair, which is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Most events will be conducted at the University's Coffman Memorial Union, 300 Washington Ave. S.E., Minneapolis. The event is free and open to the public. The first 350 students attending will receive free University of Minnesota backpacks. Event parking is $6.

The Family Fun Fair features entertaining, hands-on math and science experiences for kids of all ages. Department of Chemistry students will conduct a variety of experiments and scheduled demonstrations throughout the day. Hold a meteorite, make your own earthquake, control robots, build your own FM radio, spin a wind turbine to generate electricity, discover hidden microworlds, and much more!

Performances by the Physics Force highlight experiments where air pressure crushes a 55-gallon steel drum, and ping pong balls can pierce through cans. A Mystery Science Lab explores the oddities of science with eggs that neither float nor sink, a levitating globe, water flowing with no source, and much more. No magic here, just science.

"This event is for families with kids of all ages, especially kids in kindergarten through sixth grade, who will have a chance to see the excitement that a career in science, engineering, and mathematics provides," said Dorothy Cheng, outreach coordinator for the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering.

For more information, including directions, parking, and a schedule of shows and exhibits, visit

Energy and U photos by Patrick O'Leary.