Hello, my name is Jasmine Bruno, and I am a senior at Colby College.  I grew up in Jonesport, Maine, and I attended both Jonesport Elementary and Jonesport-Beals High School.  My experiences as a student in the Maine public school system and my love for both science and teaching motivated me to participate in K-8 Chemistry Outreach during my January term.  I remember the fun of hands-on science in elementary school, and I wanted to be a part of such exciting learning again.  The first two experiments I designed and taught are for students in grades 3 through 6.  The activity Milk Rainbow focuses on the concepts of bonding, surface tension, and polarity.  Are You Working? was designed to teach the students about chemical reactions, work, and the experimental process. My third activity, Science Survival, was intended for 7th and 8th grade students.  This is a fun activity that incorporates concepts of biology, chemistry, and physics.  The kids are challenged with the task of solving a survival problem using their knowledge of Earth’s magnetic field, compasses, prevailing wind patterns, and the Pythagorean theorem.  I hope that these experiments help spark an interest and love of science for your students! Best of luck!!

This is Jasmine’s story

My experiences with the outreach program were nothing but positive. The efforts of the class showed immediate results, every happy and excited young
student was proof that the hours spent in the lab designing the activities was worth it. Working with the students was the most exciting part of the course for me, seeing the amazement on their faces when something unexpected happened or hearing an unexpected response from a fifth grader was very rewarding. Leading a class of elementary students was also intimidating, wondering if they will like the activity, if it will last the desired amount of time and if something unexpected will happen. But in my experiences all of these questions could be solved with a genuine excitement to be there working with the students, who could tell if you wanted to be there or not.

I designed three experiments for students ranging from about 1st or 2nd grade up to 7th or 8th grade. All of the experiments use household products and have both teacher and student worksheets. My activities ranged from a zookeeper investigation into stick jungle cats (The Case of the Sick Jungle Cats), to developing a solution to compare relative amounts of vitamin C (Vitamin C Investigation), to a slightly disgusting way to look into digestion (Starch and Iodine). 


This is Dave’s story

As a product of the Maine school system, I have firsthand knowledge that finding a way to work interesting chemistry experiments into the everyday curriculum can be quite a task.  Thus, I have attempted to create a range of experiments (all Harry Potter/magic themed) that can be reproduced in both the classroom and home settings without breaking the bank.  In the cooperative experiment Troll Toothpaste, younger students
(grades K-5) learn about catalysts as well as the differences between physical and chemical changes.  The Mystery of the Missing Sorting Hat requires the aid of “muggle” students to solve the mystery of the thief at Hogwarts, Harry Potter’s magical school.  Students (grades 5-8) utilize paper chromatography, white powder, and UV light tests to conclude the identity of the evil-doer.  The Potion Density Columns demonstrations are quite versatile and can be performed for a wider range of student ages (grades K-8).   Students study the differing densities of various liquids, as well as the stratification of water and its ecological applications. 

This is Allie’s story

The chemistry outreach Jan plan is a really great course as well as a good way for Colby students to get involved in the community.  I had a lot of fun doing experiments with the kids and learned a lot about how activities work in a classroom and about how different ages will handle different activities. 

In my activities we explored the concepts of density and then addressed those concepts with a discussion about lake stratification in What affects the density of a liquid and a gas? In a lab I designed for younger students (grades K-2) we used paper chromatography and acid base indicators to make new colors in an activity called Help the rainbow fish find his colors!  I also had a lab that involved practicing making measurements to make solutions and using titrations to determine the vitamin C content of various juices (Vitamin C Detective).

I had a really great experience working with the kids and loved how enthusiastic the students would be about the projects even if every detail didn’t always go the way it was planned.  I think this is a really great program because seeing college students enjoying and pursuing science is a great example for kids who may not have had as many opportunities in the sciences or whose schools may not have great science resources.  Also for anyone considering education it's nice that Chemistry 151 provides a hands-on experience.   


This is Ana’s story