Bust out the Bunsen burners and beakers, Fort Collins. Mad scientists are concocting some witchâ€™s brews this Halloween weekend.
Colorado State Universityâ€™s mad scientists will showcase a Halloween chemistry event from 6:30-9:00 p.m. in the Chemistry building, featuring a show with slime, liquid nitrogen ice cream experiments, face painting and a special show hosted by the Gillette Entomology Club
â€œWe do the flashiest demos we donâ€™t have a chance to do at elementary schools…The main show has cool stuff, more to entertain than educate,â€ said David Daley, a junior chemistry major working on the main show.
Some of these demonstrations include a fire breathing dragon, a reaction that glows in the dark and other fire-related experiments.
Although open to both the Fort Collins and CSU communities, the eventâ€™s activities are primarily geared toward younger audiences in an effort to foster an interest in science.
â€œItâ€™s a great way to get CSU connected with the community,â€ said senior biomedical sciences major Kellie Woll. â€œWe see a lot of kids, and itâ€™s always exciting and a lot of fun.â€
According to Robin Ward, a member of the Chemistry Club, the mad science event started as a haunted house more than five years ago.
â€œThe Chemistry Club thought it would be a great way to provide a safe and educational Halloween environment for kids,â€ Ward said.
Years later, the now more hands-on event continues to gain popularity. Ward estimates that previous programs have generated crowds of nearly 300 people. The club creates press releases for the event, but mostly relies on word-of-mouth through schools for publicity.
The Chemistry Clubâ€™s members and outside volunteers have a variety of roles for the event, including publicity, chemical preparation, decorating and helping children with crafts.
â€œIâ€™m helping out at the activity booths,â€ said Woll. â€œWe provide liquid nitrogen ice cream, which is kind of like homemade Dippinâ€™ Dots.â€
This year the Chemistry Club is teaming up with the Entomology Club for a creepy-crawly addition to the event.
â€œThe Entomology Club is bringing their entire bug zoo so the kids can get up close and personal with the insects,â€ Ward said. â€œThey have everything from tarantulas to mantids to centipedes. They will help the students learn about and handle the bugs.â€
Matt Hannifin from Science Toy Magic located in Old Town Square will also make an appearance with chemistry-focused magic shows.
â€œWe receive a lot of positive feedback about the event every year,â€ Ward said. â€œWe would love to make it even bigger in the future.â€
Collegian writer Kate Winkle can be reached at email@example.com