Chemistry society shows magic behind science

The American Chemical Society of Truman State hosted its annual Musical Demo Show last weekend outside Magruder Hall. The event took place 3-5 p.m. Sunday and featured a variety of chemical reactions aimed to delight Kirksville’s children.

Senior Emily Leddin and junior Morgan Grandon, the ACS Musical Demo co-chairs, were in charge of organizing the event and says they spent the last year planning Sunday’s show. Leddin says they started planning as soon as the last musical demo ended, making a list of all of the skits they thought worked and wanted to do the following year. Before their freshman year, Leddin said there was a binder that explained everything they had to do to get ready for the event, but they did not find the binder until too recently to really use it. However, Leddin said this setback might have been more helpful than harmful.

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Junior Morgan Grandon, co-chair of the event, performs April 17 at the American Chemical Society Musical Demo Show. Grandon says she performed several music pieces and recited a poem. Submitted Photo.

“We realized we were almost better off doing it without the binder,” Leddin says. “We sought out all of the things we needed to do to get this ready. We wrote a script which had never been done before … It was kind of one of those things where we were able to do all of this without following the way people had been doing it. We kind of made our own way of doing it.”

Leddin says more than 50 people from the community attended the event, making it one of the best turnouts she’s seen. Leddin says she was happy with how the show turned out, with only one segment, “Iodine Clock,” failing to deliver a chemical reaction. Leddin said she did not think only one faulty experiment was a bad thing, as only hours earlier the entire event was changed when ACS was forced to move the musical demo outdoors after discovering it was 87 degrees in Magruder Hall.

Between last year and this year, Leddin says ACS changed many things to better the show, but she said she hopes next year’s organizers have back-up plans to prevent chemical flops from happening and having to go outdoors, where the environment is uncontrollable, because Magruder Hall is too hot.

This year, the event included skits like “Iodine Clock,” “Teddy Bear Picnic,” “The Dragon Hunt,” “Giant Bubble,” “Dueling Chemists” and “Elephant Toothpaste,” a skit Grandon says is a fan favorite with children. Each of the skits was geared toward children, with “The Dragon Hunt” and “Giant Bubble” allowing children to participate by speaking into an Erlenmeyer flask to prove they were not a dragon or standing in a small pool of bubble solution as ACS members enclosed them inside a large bubble.

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