The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

EHS Celebrates National Chemistry Week

Corinna Winkler
Seniors Eda Demirer and Leah DeConcini work together on a lab in AP Chem last year.

Colorful felt moles were tucked away in obscure hiding places. Posters of Lorenzo Avogadro decorated the walls. Tables with bottle-flipping games and rubber stoppers were set up in the landing of the stairwell on the third floor. These are some of the activities the chemistry teachers prepared in celebration of national chemistry week.

According to chemistry teacher Sara Chapman, the science department planned out the activities during their Professional Learning Communities time as one of their department goals for the year.

All the departments have been working together to come up with ways to create a “we” culture. The science department decided to dedicate one week in each quarter to one of its four strands, Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science and Physics, to develop this culture and get students involved.

“It really is national chemistry week, and so, we just voted to go first,” chemistry teacher Melissa Barnett said.

In the past, the chemistry teachers hosted games and activities on Oct. 23, Mole Day, which happens to fall on national chemistry week. This is the first year that an entire week has been dedicated to chemistry activities.

“We used to give assignments where the kids would make stuffed moles, we would have food- but now I just feel like with all these allergies I would rather not have food in the classroom. For a few years, we did our own Mole Day walk/run in the evenings,” Mrs. Barnett said. “But… even before COVID-19, we’ve started moving away from that celebratory stuff.”

Although the chemistry teachers had been doing less things to celebrate Mole Day in recent years, they went all out for chemistry week.

“There were four [activities]: Mrs. Arnold was in charge of making the announcements everyday so there was some kind of chemistry fun fact for students to learn, Dr. Shoemaker, she had our mole scavenger hunt so she hid moles throughout the school that students could find,” Mrs. Barnett said. “Mrs. Chapman did chemistry trivia every day, and then there was a daily prize… I was in charge of Mole Olympics.” Mrs. Barnett said.

Sophomore Nolan Forinash won a bag of candy and a Red Robin gift card for placing first in the mole scavenger hunt.

“I was heading toward my third hour class and passed by the vending machines and noticed something in there…” sophomore Nolan Forinash said. “I went over to check it out, and it was a mole.”

Mrs. Chapman said her favorite event was Mrs. Barnett’s Mole Olympics.

“It was fun to see students participating in the events she created,” Mrs. Chapman said.

The Mole Olympics are a series of games created by high school chemistry teachers for students to compete in nationally.

“One day, they made tally marks and they had to figure out how many years it would take them to make a mol of tally marks. One activity was water bottle flips… and they determined how many molecules of water they flipped,” Mrs. Barnett said. “The third was a fitness challenge, and then the last one was a tower of rubber stoppers, and they made a ratio of the height of their stoppers to determine how high in meters a mol of stoppers would be.”

According to the chemistry teachers, the events saw surprising success.

“I think Mrs. Chapman had over a hundred kids participate in trivia, and I know I had at least five or six kids during passing period,” Mrs. Barnett said. “I think we were really astounded.”