Just as classes wound down Thursday afternoon on April 5, members of SCUMS, or Society of Chemistry Undergraduate Majoring Students, and chemistry faculty members, presented an explosive demonstration of the capabilities of chemistry in front of Pursley Hall.
Demonstrations ranging from chemically propelled bottle rockets to the devastating smelting power of thermite were presented to bring recognition to the chemistry department, the SCUMS, and chemistry in general.
“[We blew stuff up] because it’s fun,” said SCUMS president and chemistry senior Amber Bordelon. “We really wanted to generate some positive interest in chemistry. That’s sort of our goal, to generate positive interest in chemistry. My term is coming to an end, and as president we have done a lot of outreach to local high schools and tried to do a lot of things on campus to just have people have a positive attitude about chemistry, because if you tell someone your major is chemistry, they’re like ‘oh god.’ If we changed one persons mind, then that’s cool.”
Despite being the last day before Spring break the turnout was good, in addition to the problem of not students who go to classes on Monday and Wednesday only not attending.
“This was better than what i was expecting after hearing everybody saying ‘ah, i’m getting the heck out of here today’ so i think that next time they will do it on Wednesday because i kinda forgot about the people who only have Monday Wednesday classes and probably went home yesterday,” said Bordelon. “I’m here everyday so i kind of needed to get out of my own perspective as far as that goes to think about that. So that’s one of the things i’m going to leave for the next president, to be sure we do this on a Wednesday so that we can catch everybody. So i think we had a pretty good turn out today, it was nice.”
Bordelon added that due to the price of chemicals, the planned t-shirts for the event had to be scrubbed due to the costs of explosive chemicals.
“We were hoping really to have T-shirts for the event but it turns out chemicals were very expensive and it used up our entire amount of the SGA budget for the chemicals,” said Bordelon.