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Chemistry Road Show comes to Voss Farms Elementary

The Chemistry Road Show from Texas A&M visited Voss Farms Elementary on Nov. 30 to showcase science to the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. The 90-minute show was held in the gym and designed to entertain and educate students using chemistry. The show was hosted by James Pennington, Ph.D., an instructional associate professor at Texas A&M.

Pennington spent the entire time during the show blasting through as many awe-inspiring experiments and demonstrations as possible. Chemical reactions aplenty caused overflows of foam, billowing clouds, liquids that would “magically” change colors and of course, lots and lots of fire and explosions.

“Part of what got me into chemistry was the ‘practical magic’ and I think at this age, that’s what’s going to attract the students to science,” said Pennington. “The road show is motivational and inspirational and hopefully leaves them with some questions and gives the teachers some things to look back on when they cover related subjects in class.”

During the show, Pennington reached out to teachers and staff for assistance, culminating with the finale of teachers lighting explosive balloons on fire. The controlled blasts shook the entire gym and brought the students into sheer frenzy.

“I really liked it because it was fun and he did lots of cool stuff,” said Presley Bolado, a fifth-grade student at Voss Farms. “It made me more interested in science and I think all my friends really liked it.”

Principal Deborah Cary brought the show to her campus last year with great reception and worked with the Voss Farms PTA to bring it again this year.

“We did it last year at Walnut Springs Elementary and it was such a great show for the kids,” said Cary. “We really want to capture them and show them all the different areas that science can take them into.”

Cary added that the Chemistry Road Show offers students a bigger, sometimes more spectacular picture of the wonders of science than a normal classroom environment cannot show them.

Pennington does more than 80 shows a year around Texas including a show every year in New Braunfels at the Westside Community Center and Library for their summer reading program.

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