We had 10 volunteers who contributed their time for a 2 hour event open to the community. The event was held at the Whitney Ranch Recreation Center in Henderson, NV from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm on Saturday, October 24th. Approximately 30 adults and children attended. Even though this seems like a small number of attendees, our volunteers were busy for the entire two hours. Those who attended spent an hour or more at the event in order to try all four activities. Each child received a bag with 2 activity books (2015 National Chemistry Week and 2015 Chemists Celebrate Earth Day) and other ACS goodies (pencil, sticker, temporary tattoo, etc). They also picked up and created other items at the different activities.
The four activities are briefly explained below:
· Light Diffraction – Looked at how white light is broken into the visible spectrum and compared that against a red laser (no diffraction). Also colored disks with different colors and looked at how the colors combine (i.e. spinning tops).
· UV Light – Created bracelets with UV-changing and glow-in-the-dark beads. Discussed why UV light is harmful to our skins and eyes. Looked at how sunscreen and sunglasses block UV light.
· pH Artwork – Used droppers to color paper towels with red cabbage juice and then changed the color with vinegar and dissolved baking soda. Colored paper towels can be used as an alternative for wrapping paper.
· Chromatography Mystery – Used paper chromatography to try and identify the pen that wrote the ransom note. Discussed how black is a mixture of colors.
The main two advertising methods were: emailing ACS members and distributing a flyer to CCSD science teachers. Most of the attendees indicated they saw the flyer that was distributed by CCSD, so I recommend using this approach again. Volunteers were recruited from ACS members and college chemistry clubs. Comments from volunteers suggest that they enjoyed volunteering and would be interested in doing so again. They also suggested providing information about the activities ahead of time so that they could be more prepared at the event. One student member also recommended having more time to get to know the other volunteers, so it may be nice to invite everyone to lunch after the event.
Recommendations for next year: Try to find a corporate sponsor for the event. This will provide more funding to increase the size of the event. Also, partnering with the company would likely mean company employees would volunteer and the company could help with advertising the event.