Middle school students get an explosive look at science at School of Mines

Published: Feb. 22, 2018 at 5:11 PM MST
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While it may be a little early for 6th graders to choose their college major, South Dakota School of Mines Chemists are working to ignite students' interest in STEM careers

Dr. Justin Meyer, senior chemistry lecturer says, "This is a chance to show science to the masses in essence and we get a lot of students on campus. One of the goals is to try to interest students in science and STEM education so try to produce some scientists and engineers in the future."

Students got an explosive introduction to the world of chemistry today at the South Dakota School of Mines.

Meyer says, "Any time we blow up stuff, we blow up hydrogen balloons, lighting hands of fire, anything like that, I think that's one reason we are looking at fire this year it is very popular students love to see explosions, stuff like that."

Students and the professor of the American Chemical Society provide demonstrations during Engineering Week Each year and this year's focus ...FIRE.

Sage Buxcel, 6th grader at St. Thomas More says, "We saw a lot of explosions and fire but it was fun and i learned that chemistry can be really dangerous but it can also be really fun so i think i might like to try chemistry."

And while the goal was to entertain... the teachers and college students had something else in mind as well.

"Going forward we are already short on scientists and engineers we need more in our society and if we don't encourage youth to go into those fields at a young age when they get into later high school and stuff they've already kind of decided what they want to do. This is a way to try to hopefully get four or five students to change their minds and go in to science in the future and if we do that, we've done our job with these demos" says Meyer.

From burning money...to making fire dance, these 6th graders had a unforgettable science filled good time.