The Chemistry Road Show is a public service program with two complementary and interlocking goals: to entertain and educate students using chemistry.
Lufkin's Kurth Memorial Library hosts 'Chemistry Roadshow'
For parents, it is sometimes hard to get kids to continue learning during the summer.
One Texas A&M University professor is traveling around the state hoping to help by rolling out the Chemistry Roadshow. East Texas News got the scoop on why this professor is willing to use his summer break to help others learn.
Jim Pennington used things like foam to gushing out of tube and exploding objects in liquid nitrogen to show students that science can be fun and exciting. The Chemistry Roadshow was held at Lufkin's Kurth Memorial Library Friday.
Each kid had their favorite moment.
"When they blew up the balloons," Michael Strom said.
"The thing called elephant toothpaste," Isaac Peth said.
"When he blew up the balloons," Malaichi Peth said.
"He made fire green, all colors of fire," Hassani Elscari said. "It was really cool to me."
This show is an interesting experiment in itself. It mixes a lot of fun with an ample amount of learning to come up with a great concoction for knowledge.
"You can lose a whole grade of learning level if you don't read at all of the summer so it's kind of the same thing with science," Pennington said. "If you don't see it all, you don't stay still, you kind of go backwards."
Pennington said it's much easier to get kids to learn if you can motivate them.
"Not everything is a demonstration that you can do," Pennington said "It's kind of realizing that your clothes, your house, your carpet, everything around you, chemistry is involved in it."
The road show is not meant to replace text books, Pennington said.
"Teachers say, 'a month later while we were covering x-,y-, or z topic, that demonstration kind of gave us a focal point we could talk on," Pennington said.
Blowing up a grenade with liquid nitrogen does have serious consequences, so why does Pennington do it? Simple - his love of science.
"My gifting and my talent is that I'm willing to be an idiot in front of people and be silly," Pennington said.
The show was free thanks to a grant from Dow Chemical, Shell Oil and the Texas A&M Chemistry Department. The Kurth Memorial Library has plenty of other fun events scheduled for this summer.
— Courtesy of KTRE News - LUFKIN, TX. Copyright 2013 KTRE. All rights reserved.