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Students and faculty perform science magic for community

On Feb. 21, Minot State University hosted a science open house and chemistry magic show to expose elementary aged students to the wonders of science. The event was made possible by the participation of MSU faculty and over 30 student volunteers.

Professors of chemistry Naomi Winburn and Bob Crackel supervised the chemistry and physics demos, while John Webster, professor of geoscience, supervised the geology demos.

"The goal of the event was to teach science majors how to explain and impress with science and to encourage the elementary students to be interested in science and continue to learn about it," said Winburn.

The open house lasted from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the 40-minute chemistry magic show being performed hourly in Hoffman Auditorium. Each show consisted of various demonstrations including air rockets, hovercrafts, monkey shoot physics, exploding gummy bears, flame tests, electricity, density, color-changing and magnetic slime, color-changing reactions, clock reactions and burning magnesium in dry ice. By day's end, approximately 650 students, grades 3-6, had attended.

MSU science students Annika Kraft, Matthew Winburn, Jordan Torgunrud and Paige Clark performed the demos for the magic show. Student Sherry Lee assisted with solutions and set up.

"It's a great opportunity to show the kids that science is fun," said Kraft, who is president of the Science Club. "They get the experience of seeing science, and it opens doors to something new for them."

In addition to the chemistry show, Club Biology, the AUGITE Club and PAWS held demos that were open to all attendees.