Students to attempt world's biggest chemistry lesson

Friday, October 2, 2009
Soda rockets, made from the combination of Pepsi and Mentos, flew threw the air Wednesday, October 3, 2007, for Science Day at Arena Park in Cape Girardeau. Roughly 1,000 people, mainly children, came out to take part in the event. (Kit Doyle)

Students will be getting slimy for Science Day this year.

Jason Lindsey, outreach science educator and host of "Hooked on Science," will be attempting to set the world record for the biggest chemistry lesson today.

"We're going to teach the kids all about polymers and make a batch of slime," he said.

This is the fourth year for the event, which was declared by the governors of Missouri, Illinois and Tennessee to raise awareness for science.

For the past three years, Lindsey and science students broke a record during Science Day. In 2007, students launched hundreds of Mentos fountains in Arena Park. Last year, community members gathered at West Park Mall to blow up hundreds of balloons.

Lindsey said he submitted several ideas for a new record, including the most people running across oobleck. Oobleck is a fluid mixture of cornstarch and water that acts like a solid.

He said the Guinness record committee settled on his idea for the biggest chemistry lesson. Students will hear a lesson about polymers and break into groups to make batches of slime.

"Every kid likes slime," he said.

Lindsey said he needs 200 people to set the record but he is hoping for at least 400.

Science day will be from 3 to 6 p.m. today at West Park Mall. There will be booths with other science activities set up. Lindsey will also be recognizing the Science Day educator of the year, Jay Spurgeon, a teacher at Jackson Junior High School.

In celebration of Science Day students at Central Middle School will hear a presentation about recycling during school. The Jackson School District will not be in class, and the Cape Girardeau School District will be dismissing early. Lindsey said he hopes school schedules will increase the number of participants.

"That means hopefully more kids will be out," he said.

Over the years, science day activities have stuck in the minds of young students. He said children still recall the lessons learned from the Mentos experiment.

"What's good about it is that we apply a specific concept to a hands-on experiment," he said.

abusch@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

3049 William Street Cape Girardeau, MO

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