On March 27 in Dawson Auditorium, the Chemistry Department held its 14th Annual Chemical Demonstration Show, this year titled “The Wizardry of Chemistry” and themed around Harry Potter. The show is held every year to get kids interested in science, and to show them that chemistry and science isn’t as boring as it may seem.
There were a total of 13 chemical demonstrations that students performed during the show, and each demo depicted a different scene in the Harry Potter series.
“It was really cool to see all those things that can happen just by mixing certain chemicals. It’s really an awesome event for the kids that are there, it definitely gives them more reason to be interested in school, and especially in science,” said freshman Maxine Kasunick.
One demonstration was from a scene in ‘Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows Part Two’, in which Neville blows up a bridge in order to keep the dark wizards from entering Hogwarts. The students replicated this scene using nitrogen triiodide, which popped like a firecracker at the touch of a feather.
Another demonstration was from ‘Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets,’ in the scene where students have a plant lesson with mandrakes, plants that when pulled out of the ground are a wrinkled brown color and scream like infants. Senior Enio Iafrate used a powder-like substance that twisted itself into a plant-like snake when set on fire.
Yet another demonstration was from ‘Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire,’ in the scene where the goblet’s flame changes color as it decides who will be in the Wizard’s Tournament. Students set a mixture of different metals and metal salts on fire that burned blue, red, white, green, and yellow.
“I was very intrigued by the explosions and bright lights. I felt like a kid again,” said freshman Chelsea Gouine.
The sixth demonstration shown was from ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.’ In this particular scene, Harry, Hermoine, and Ron find themselves standing in front of Fluffy, the three headed dog. Students mixed liquids to react in order to create how much “toothpaste” (colored foam) they thought would be necessary to brush his teeth.
In ‘Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone,’ students of Hogwarts are first introduced to the ghosts in the castle. One ghost in Hogwarts is Sir Nicholas, or Nearly Headless Nick. Two students, senior Krystin Stiefel and freshman Mary Bache, created bubbles that when came in contact with anything, materialized into “dust.” Kids in the audience were chosen to come up to feel the ghost-like bubbles hitting their hands and turning into vapor.
One demo came from ‘Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part Two,’ when the students are trapped in the Room of Requirement and a huge fire breaks out. In the demo to represent this scene, students used methane bubbles to light their hands and arms on fire.
The finale was from ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,’ in which students are quietly taking their exams. Fred and George swoop in on their broomsticks and make the whole place explode with fireworks. Students used a variety of substances that changed colors and exploded upon contact with heat.
“It was so fun! I think I like school now,” said attendee seven-year-old Savannah Brockman.