Fun Stuff


SAACS Events!!

January 23, 2007: Thermite Reaction and Mentos + Diet Coke. We also discussed upcoming events (see home page) and T-shirts (we will eventually have t-shirts....)


February 6, 2007:


February 20, 2007:


March 6, 2007:


April 10th, 2006: Liquid nitrogen and melted ice cream makes great dippin' dots. This is one of our favorite demos.  We also discussed T-shirt orders.


February 15th, 2005: Liquid metal - that's the best word to describe mercury! This is one of the most curious elements known to exist - it's heavier than most metals and it's a liquid! In fact, it's so dense that even lead floats on top of it! Its high surface tension makes it feel like pushing your fingers though solid Jell-O when put your fingers in it!


January 11th, 2004: We made dip-n-dots with melted ice cream and liquid nitrogen! It was a great first meeting and we had a record number of people coming - the SAACS room was packed! The web editor, however, had a little too much "fun" and spilled an entire cup of liquid nitrogen on his hands....that's why he is still the web editor!


November 7th, 2004: We went on a mushroom hike with the Botany Club to Alsea Falls and we collected a huge bunch of mushrooms from the forest floor! It was absolutely beautiful!


October 26th, 2004: We blew up jack-o-lanterns at this meeting in honor of Halloween! The poor jack-o-lantern was hollowed out and then we placed a tray of calcium carbide along with water into this poor thing and lit it up with a candle on a stick. It made quite a spectacular explosion!


October 4th, 2004: This is the first meeting of SAACS club for the 2004 to 2005 school year! We had pizza, had snacks and played with a tube filled with butane!


April 28th, 2004: We played with a chemical that changes color all by itself, when it was just left on it's own! The colors varied all across the spectrum and is quickly becoming a favorite of SAACS Club demos!


April 14th, 2004: We prepared for the upcoming Discovery Days as well as played with nitrogen triiodide, a chemical with such a low activation energy that all you need is a feather's touch for it to explode! This stuff flew all over the floor when we did this and as a result, when people walked around, their shoes went "snap! snap!"


March 31st, 2004: The first meeting for SAACS during Spring 04, we had pizza while we played with liquid oxygen and burned money. Since the liquid O2 molecule is a paramagnetic (meaning that a magnet can affect it), we were able to suspend the super-cold liquid in midair with a powerful horseshoe magnet! On a separate note, we also dipped a dollar bill in a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol. We then lifted the bill out of the solution and because the alcohol and water don't mix, the alcohol floats on top of the water soaked dollar bill. When we lit the bill on fire, only the alcohol floating on top of the water burned and the bill itself was unharmed!


March 3rd, 2004: For the last meeting of Winter 04, we made liquid nitrogen ice cream and set off sparklers outside of Gilbert!


February 11th, 2004: We prepared for the Discovery Days demo (Feb 24, 25) at this meeting - making various models of atoms (some where quite "creative!") and growing various types of crystals for our demo at LaSells in two weeks!


January 28th, 2004: Exploding bubbles were fun, but molten metal is better! At this meeting, we played with thermite - a mixture of aluminum and iron oxide (rust) powder. When mixed in the proper proportions and heated up, the thermite produces an extremely exothermic (hot) reaction! It was so hot that it melted through an 1/8" piece of aluminum like it wasn't even there and temperatures got hot enough to make glass from sand! Now, having fun is great, but we also did research into having an effective way to start the thermite reaction. There have been some problems in various classroom demos where the thermite would not start and we tried different ways of starting the reaction. The most successful way was using a magnesium strip to set off the reaction, although sometimes this did not work. Other cool ways (and Kathy's favorite!) was to mix potassium permanganate and glycerin together (producing a very hot flame) and using some industrial thermite starters (in other words, cheating). We had lots of fun and made some very cool metal alloys! We also like to thank Bob Boyer for helping with the setup of the thermite jig as well as the metals from the chemistry shop!


January 14th, 2004 - First meeting for Winter 2004: In keeping with the SAACS tradition of blowing stuff up, we made exploding bubbles at this meeting! We made some soap solution (dishwashing detergent and glycerin) and instead of blowing the bubbles ourselves, we took the natural gas line from Gilbert 124 and use that to make the bubbles. And what do we do with bubbles filled with a highly volatile gas? What we always do - light them on fire! We produced massive fireballs that went up to 4 feet in diameter and Dr. Loesor treated us with an awesome demo of filling a plastic tube with gasoline and blowing a jets of flames out from the end of the pipe. It made those circus people look like amateurs!


November 19th, 2003 - Last meeting for Fall 2003: We made liquid CO2 for our last meeting of the term! Dry ice was placed in a plastic eye dropper and the ends of the droppers were crimped, forming a sealed container. The pressure quickly built up and created the liquid. There was a lot of fun with exploding eye droppers and we had a great pizza party!


November 5th, 2003: We then went out to the parking lot entrance to Gilbert to light off the sparklers. We decided not to go to the roof because the experimental chem-ers have been using large quantities of ether and we didn't want to light any fumes. The sparklers were a big success. None of the salts showed through the main bright white light, but there were star-like explosions that made up for it. Like the white stage of a morning glory. There were also several patties of leftover metal-mixture that were also lit. These were gorgeous fountains of bright white sparks and occasional jumping stars, somewhat resembling a jack-in-the-box. No one got burned and nobody poked their eyes out, so it was definitely a success.


November 2nd, 2003 - Mushroom Hike: The OSU Chemistry Club, along with the OSU Botany Club, teamed up and drove to Mary's Peak to go mushroom hunting! Dr. Travers lead the hike where the mushrooms were collected and made sure that we knew which ones we could eat and which ones were poisonous. We got a special treat at the end of the hike when the temperature dropped low enough to start snowing and we got a good amount of flurries before we left. It was a blast!


October 22nd, 2003: Sparkler making! We made sparklers by combining magnesium along with other chemicals (starch, etc.) to form a thick gray paste. We then dipped 1/16" steel rods into the gray paste and let them dry. Once they're dry, they are ready to be lit and give us a bright fireworks demonstration! (Our webmaster managed to not hurt himself this time.)


October 8th, 2003: We took calcium carbide and by combining it with water, we produced among other things, a flammable gas called acetylene (C2H2). Typically used for welding and cutting, acetylene burns very hot, hotter than most other conventional gasses. Our uses for this gas are somewhat different: we put the calcium carbide and water in a balloon and let it sit until the balloon filled up nicely with the highly explosive gas. And of course, the balloon is no fun just sitting there all by itself so we lit it with a torch. We took turns lighting our little homemade bombs and sending plumes of black soot rising towards the sky. Two types of "reactions" where created: an explosion where the balloon just went boom and a frame shooter, where we poked small holes in the balloon and we had flames shooting out of the holes. The detonations were pretty uneventful, with the exception that our webmaster was stupid enough to light the balloon without an extension and got all the hair on the back of his left hand 'removed' - that's why he's the webmaster: a position where he can do no harm to himself and more importantly, to those around him.