Kids and ChemFriends embrace

Mary-Glenn Smith
Sixth graders from Lake Elementary raise their hands with questions for Doug Badon with Williams about the experiment about polymers he performed demonstrating how to make nylon.

Throughout the day on Tuesday Ascension Parish 6th graders visited the Gonzales Civic Center for the Annual ChemFriends Expo.

   Launched in 1997, ChemFriends Expo is a science fair with a twist. Instead of students demonstrating experiments to adults, it's the adults who are under the microscope and the students get to watch, learn, and participate with representatives companies like Air Products, BASF, CF Industries, DuPont, Honeywell, Motiva, OxyChem, PCS Nitrogen, Rubicon, Shell Chemicals, Westlake Chemical, and Williams doing the experiments. 

   Groups of students spend about 15 minutes visiting each booth at the expo listening to presenters and participating in several hands on experiments.  Some of the experiments include: making silly putty, slime, lava lamps, learning about pH and indicators, and freezing things with liquid nitrogen.

   ChemFriends started in Gonzales to raise awareness and interest of science and chemistry in students and the community through the collaborative effort of local chemical companies, companies, educators, government, and business professionals, educators, government, and business professionals.

   On Thursday, ChemFriends was open for “community night” where from 5-7 p.m. the expo was open for the general public to particpate in the event’s fun and educational activities.