LSU ChemDemo Program
The LSU ChemDemo program currently involves various sections of our introductory chemistry courses (General Chemistry 1201/1202 and Fundamentals of Chemistry 1001/1002, typically 180-250 students per section). Interested faculty members who teach sections of these courses assign a bonus homework assignment to the class that involves visiting a K-12 school and performing one set of chemical (or sometimes more general science) demonstrations for a class of students. We currently have seven sets of tested, safe demonstrations for LSU students to choose from that usually involve hands-on participation of some or all of the students in the classroom that is being visited. We provide detailed instructions for each set of experiments that includes a list of chemicals and items needed, how to perform and explain the science behind the demonstration, presentation tips, and connections of the chemistry/science involved to everyday life.
Since Fall, 1997 we have sent out over 4,400 LSU undergraduates who visited 2,100+classrooms impacting more than 50,000 K-12 students. As part of these ChemDemo classroom visits, we obtain evaluations from the K-12 teachers about how well the LSU students did with their demonstrations. Virtually all the LSU students received the maximum possible ranking and in the comment section of the evaluation the K-12 teachers raved about the ChemDemo program. We also have the LSU students write a 2-4 page essay about their classroom experience. Many of these essays contain vivid descriptions of how amazed the LSU students were at performing chemistry (and science) demonstrations in front of a class and how eager, excited, and enthusiastic the students in the classroom were.
Demo # 8 Kinetics, Equilibrium & Catalysis The ChemDemo Program was initiated by Profs. Patrick Limbach and George Stanley in the Fall of 1997. We would especially like to thank Profs. Tamara Nauman and Patrick Kolniak for preparing demonstration kits and assisting in the restocking of them. Ben Fowler in the Organic Stockroom has also provided last second support on many occasions in fetching liquid nitrogen and dry ice.
We received some initial financial support from the Louisiana Chemical Association ($1,000) and ExxonMobil ($2,500) and thank them for their contributions. The LSU Chemistry Department provides routine supplies like liquid nitrogen, dry ice, oxygen & hydrogen gas, etc. Profs. Stanley and Chan have purchased other supplies from their NSF research grants (thanks NSF!!). Prof. Steve Soper and the new NSF-funded Center for BioModular Multiscaled Systems is now providing additional support for supplies and staff assistance to help expand the ChemDemo program.