Project Youth Day 2023 at U Chemistry
The University of Utah Department of Chemistry hosted Project Youth Day on April 26, 2023, and worked with about 60 North Star Elementary School students and 90 Kearns Junior High School students. Project Youth Day is organized annually by the University of Utah Office of Engagement to give elementary school students a hands-on experience of higher education both in their classrooms and on the University of Utah campus.
The North Star Elementary fifth graders used cardboard spectroscope boxes based on cardboard boxes and CDs used to learn about light interactions with blue, green, and red dye molecules. Students also made root beer and Sprite-flavored edible spheres based on anionic polymer interactions with different cations. The activities were led by Aria Balance, Amy Morren, Anh Nguyen (Shumaker-Parry Group); Samantha Curry (Zharov Group); Joshua Taylor, Preston Hymas, and Camden Johnson (Conboy Group); and Lab Manager Jared Smith. The group of sixth graders from Kearns Junior High made polymer bouncy balls and learned about chemical reactions and Newton’s Law of Motion by shooting off Alka-Seltzer rockets on the patio with Prof. Holly Sebahar and twenty-five undergraduate students from the American Chemical Society Student Chapter.