Bang, Sparkle, Burst, and Boom

Apr 17, 2019

UMD’s Chemistry and Biochemistry Club hosts the annual chemistry show.

Student doing a chemistry experiment with flames shooting out of a bottle.
Expect to see explosions, flames, and changing colors at the UMD 
Chemistry Show on Friday, April 26 at 7 pm in the Brian Kobilka Hall, CHEM 200 at UMD.
The demonstrations, performed by UMD chemistry and biochemistry students, promise to hold the audience’s attention and spur their curiosity for science. The UMD Chemistry Show has been offered for more than eight years. It's a free event for all ages, and it's open to the public.

The event demonstrates how science is just as fun as it is informative, and it allows UMD students to showcase their knowledge, passion, and excitement for chemistry through experiments.

Romesh Lakhan, instructor in the Swenson College of Science and Engineering, whose interests include pharmaceutical and chemical toxicology, says “The show is focused on elementary through college-age students.” He warns that parents of smaller children, or children sensitive to stimuli, should be aware that there are some loud booms and flashes of light.UMD student teaches chemistry

“Although the show is certainly flashy,” Romesh says, “it is also intended to educate." The UMD students present a slideshow along with the demonstrations to highlight chemical reactions and how they relate to everyday life. "That said, you do not have to know anything about chemistry to enjoy the show.”

Grant Jackson, an officer of the UMD Chemistry & Biochemistry Club, says that the UMD Chemistry Show is the “most highly anticipated event of the year” for the club. “We love getting involved in the community,” Grant says, “and it's so much fun to see how fired up kids get about science outside of the classroom. We believe the best way to promote science is to do it in an enjoyable way.” Jackson says.

The UMD Chemistry & Biochemistry Club is a student-run organization that seeks to develop camaraderie and an appreciation for science within the community. They may choose enthusiastic audience members to participate in some of the demonstrations.See slime being made.

“In the past, area K-12 science teachers have granted extra credit to their students who attended the show,” Romesh adds. “This was verified by the selfies students took with the UMD students who put on the show. Our UMD students felt a bit like rockstars!”

About the UMD Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

The photos in this story were taken by Bil Nicholson.