The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Department of Engineering and Physics are collaborating this year to continue the Chemistry Circus with the addition of new demonstrations.
The Chemistry Circus is an event that takes place every year during Homecoming, usually in Walling Lecture Hall. The chemistry club usually hosts the event with the chemistry and biochemistry departments, but with the recent destruction of Walling, both departments had to choose a new location.
Dr. Autumn Sutherlin, professor of biochemistry, said that Bennett Gymnasium, Engineering and Physics Laboratories was the best choice for a new location, so they contacted the engineering and physics department to ask if they could use the space.
Bennett has open space for demonstrations, which lowers the risk of the public getting hurt, said Dr. Tim Head, associate professor of the department of engineering and physics.
“It does give us fewer worries about damaging carpeted floor, now that we have the concrete floor of Bennett,” Sutherlin said.
Though Bennett offers fewer risks, there are still some limitations the club has to work around.
“It doesn’t have the stadium seating Walling had and access to natural gas,” Sutherlin said. “But it’ll be nice, and we are all pretty excited.”
When the engineering and physics department gave permission to use Bennett, they also asked to take part in Chemistry Circus. With the addition of another department, they decided to change the name to the Chemistry Circus/Science Expo. This year’s show will have a greater variety of demonstrations with 11 different acts, eight from biochemistry and three from engineering and physics.
Alyssa Shaffner, senior biochemistry pre-med major from Grand Prairie, said that the collaboration allowed them to explore different experiments that they haven’t done before.
“Generally it was the same experiments every year with some variations,” Shaffner said. “Now we are incorporating some different experiments that haven’t been in a while, if never before.”
James Johnstone, senior chemistry and physics major from Marysville, Ohio, said physics will be doing a couple of demonstrations that chemistry doesn’t do, like someone laying down in a bed of nails.
“That’s something that chemistry doesn’t do because that’s more a physical aspect than a chemical aspect,” Johnstone said.
The 29th annual Chemistry Circus/Science Expo is scheduled for Friday at 6:30 p.m., following a reception in Bennett.