University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

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Energy and U shows ignite students' interest in science

More than 1,300 students from metro area elementary and junior high schools attended Energy and U shows at the University of Minnesota, Wednesday, January 12, and Friday, January 14. With an educational slide show set to music, and some demonstrations that include loud explosions, bright flashes and flames, Energy and U tries to ignite students' interest in science.

"We try to emphasize that they, too, could do what we do every day," said Chemistry Associate Professor David Blank, one of the creators of Energy and U.

Energy and U shows focus on how energy can be stored and interconverted in many ways, and that chemical conversions play a key role. “We teach kids that they cannot make or destroy energy, they can just change its form,” said Blank.

Energy and U is a specialized outreach program of the University of Minnesota's College of Science & Engineering (CSE) and its Department of Chemistry and Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.

Energy and U presenters include professors David Blank, Christy Haynes, and Marc Hillmyer, and lecture demonstration director Joseph Franek from the Department of Chemistry, and professor Frank Bates, head of  the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. Katherine Cramer, outreach coordinator for the CSE arranges for students and their teachers to attend Energy and U shows.