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Robinwood Lane discovers magic of science

Originally Published: 12:00 a.m., March 15, 2013 and  Updated 09:34 a.m., March 15, 2013


Neighbors | Natalie Scott.Chemistry professor and faculty advisor to the YSU branch of the American Chemical Society Mike Serra observed the YSU students doing experiments.


Neighbors | Natalie Scott.YSU chemistry student Mike Macinga (right) watched as his fellow student, Brian Kamerer, used a banana frozen with liquid nitrogen to hammer a nail into a piece of wood Feb. 28.


Neighbors | Natalie Scott.YSU chemistry students, from left, Jeana McEvey, Joe Strozier, Brian Kamerer, and Mike Macinga showed experiments to studnets at Robinwood Lane Elementary School Feb. 28.


Neighbors | Natalie Scott.YSU chemistry student Mike Macinga mixed two chemicals together to create a reaction in the form of a long string of foam coming out of the tube where the chemicals were mixed Feb. 28.



Members from the YSU sector of the American Chemical Society, Mike Macinga, Jeana McEvey, Joe Strozier, and Brian Kamerer, as well as their faculty adviser, chemistry professor Mike Serra, visited Robinwood Lane Elementary School Feb. 28 to teach and astound students with the magic of chemistry.

The group came to the school to perform experiments that the Robinwood students might see as magic, but Serra explained how each experiment was done and why the chemicals react the way they do.

The experiments started with simple physical changes and progressed into larger chemical reactions. They began by using liquid nitrogen to freeze a whole banana. To show the power of the change, the banana was used to hammer a nail into a piece of wood.

Next, the scientists used a baking soda and vinegar mixture to show how the vapors can put out a fire.

Another impressive experiment was Serra dipping a dollar bill in ethanol and lighting it on fire. Once the flames stopped, the bill was unharmed.

The experiments ended by showing the Robinwood Lane students how, when different chemicals are lit on fire, different colors for fireworks are created.

In the last experiment, McEvey blew an undisclosed powder through a tube and onto a flame to give Robinwood students a fiery ending.

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