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Kid Chemistry: Sun, Sugar and Slime

Oct. 12, 2004 — Children who enjoy the fun and mystery of chemistry will have a chance to make slime, test the absorbent material found in diapers and learn how much sugar is found in soda pop on Saturday Oct. 16 during the local kickoff of National Chemistry Week.

The fun will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Conference Center down the stairs from the Urban Room at the Salt Lake City Public Library.

“This is the second year we have held this activity at the library, and we hope even more kids attend this time than last year,” says Anita Orendt, Salt Lake coordinator for the American Chemical Society’s National Chemistry Week and an adjunct assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Utah.

Children of all ages are welcome to participate in the activities free of charge, and news media representatives are invited to cover the event.

Among the 10 activities – which will be run by chemistry students from the University of Utah and Salt Lake Community College – will be these:

— Super Absorbers. Kids will add water, drop by drop, to the absorbent powder used in diapers to learn how much water the substance absorbs.

— Slime. Participants will mix two chemical solutions and food coloring to produce slime, then stretch and break the slime to determine its physical properties.

— Safe in the Sun. Two types of sunscreen will be applied to cards that treated with a chemical that is sensitive to ultraviolet sunlight to test the effectiveness of the sunscreens.

— “Urine” the Know. Strips that normally are used by medical laboratories to test urine for sugar and protein levels will be used to measure sugar levels in water, milk and the kind of sugar solution fed to sick infants.

— Carbon Dioxide Rockets. Children will use dry ice and water to shoot cork “rockets” toward the ceiling.

The event is scheduled to celebrate the start of National Chemistry Week, which is observed during Oct. 17 – 23, 2004. This year’s theme is “Health and Wellness.”

National Chemistry Week is an outreach program of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and is aimed at enhancing the public’s awareness of the contributions of chemistry to our everyday lives and the nation’s economy. ACS local sections, industrialists, educators, and promoters of chemistry awareness celebrate it nationwide.

Events such as the one in Salt Lake City will be held across the country by different groups affiliated with the ACS. Please visit for more information on National Chemistry Week events.

The American Chemical Society is the world’s largest scientific society with a membership of more than 159,000 chemists and chemical engineers. The society publishes scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences, and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.