TCU students help children explore the chemistry of colors

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TCU students are working with the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History to celebrate chemistry connections in honor of national chemistry week.

The theme for this year is “Chemistry Colors Our World.”

TCU students, as well as other students from other universities, are conducting experiments that allow school children to explore and learn about the chemistry of colors. Wearing colorful tie dye shirts, students and volunteers bring color to the room they are using as their chemistry lab.

Children are able to mix different liquids to form color rainbows. Other experiments include making tie dye bookmarks, colorful bubbles and using light to observe a change in color.

“I think they are really cool,” 9-year-old Reagan Faria said. “All of them are really interesting.”

Anne Herndon, executive director of programs and TCU alumna, said it is important for children to get engaged in science at an early age. Herndon said this event gives them an opportunity to learn about chemistry and future school options.

The museum and its university partners started the collaboration for chemistry week five years ago when a TCU chemistry club member suggested the idea. The event has grown every year since then, Herndon said.

Marlius Castillo, a TCU graduate student, said she volunteered because it’s a fun way to encourage younger students and show them about science. Castillo said that it is important for kids to have events like these.

“I think it’s very important for them,” Castillo said. “I never had them as a kid, but I think it would have helped me to think about science.”

Students and faculty from 13 different schools will be volunteering this year. TCU has taken the lead in inviting other chemistry clubs around the area to collaborate with the museum, Herndon said.

“It really started with TCU’s initiative and their hard work,” Herndon said. “They’re the biggest group of volunteers we have.”

The museum started to prepare for this week in August. The events for Chemistry Week started Tuesday and will end Saturday, Oct. 24.

“Saturday is our biggest day,” Herndon said. “It’s a day to celebrate educators. Teachers can come, they get in free, and then they get to visit with all the chemistry students and professors about activities they can do in their classroom. We provide handouts and other resources for them.”