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Chemistry Discovery Day reaches out to Indiana Girl Scouts


When they’re not selling cookies, central Indiana Girl Scouts are often taking on extra educational endeavors outside of school.

One such opportunity came April 25 at Chemistry Discovery Day held in the labs within Brown Laboratory. Hosted by the Iota Sigma Pi organization for women in chemistry, Department of Chemistry graduate students led the girls through experiments focusing on forensics, creating edible liquid nitrogen ice cream, making slime and gel beads, and creating their own lip balm.

The 40 girls rotated from lab to lab every 40 minutes so they had a chance to try their hands at a wide variety of experiments.

In the forensics lab, the scouts extracted DNA from strawberries and created acid-based reactions on acid-based paper after putting a base on it. In the neighboring lab, the girls got messy while creating colorful batches of slime and small cups of gel beads.

“We made all of this using materials that can be found in the kitchen and in the household,” said Shi Choong, a Chemistry graduate student. “The goals are to tell the girls that science is everywhere; it’s not just in the labs. And we want to expose them to different kinds of chemistry.

“Long term, we hope this will help them decide their career paths on the fun experiences they had today.”

Chemistry Discovery Day was made possible by Science Women for Purdue Giving Circle and a grant Iota Sigma Pi received for events that promote positive changes to women in the chemistry community.

A girl scout shows her slime.

A Girl Scout creates slime at Purdue's Chemistry Discovery Day.

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