Graduate students in the department of chemistry outreach program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technolgy in Cambridge, Mass., will bring a slice of science to two Maine high schools in May.
The program will be presented from 9:36 to 11:16 a.m. Thursday, May 24, at Penobscot Valley High School in Howland and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, May 25, at Old Town High School.
In its third year, the scientific road show was developed to get young people interested in science. Each 50-minute show is presented by two graduate students. One does an experiment while the other explains what is happening. The program exposes youngsters to the workings of fundamental chemical principles.
The “nylon” experiment is typical of the demonstrations. The mixture in a beaker looks like oil and vinegar, but when a graduate student dips in a pair of tongs she pulls out a continuous strand of pink taffylike nylon. The nylon used for stockings, backpacks and other products is made using the same chemistry.