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Giving Matters

Giving Matters: Chemical Reactions at SEE Science Center

The SEE Science Center offers scientific explorations for all ages. Barnstead teacher Annie Bourque makes an annual trip with her 6th grade class to take advantage of the chemistry lab there. 

“This particular lab is about chemo-luminescence, where they get to combine two chemicals and the bonds break and create light.” She walks among her students as they cycle through this experiment and the three others SEE prepped for them today. One is about exothermic reactions mixing chemicals that generate heat; another is about endothermic reactions absorbing heat like an icepack; and the last one is about color and volume change when chemicals are combined. 

“So they get to see how two different things make something completely new,” says Bourque. “They’ve had a hard time understanding that in the classroom. Today bridges that and takes them across.”

And the chemicals aren’t the only things reacting in the lab, shouts go up around the room, “How is this possible?” “This is so weird!” “How does that make sense?” Each lab is accompanied by some text explaining the lesson and Bourque has each of the students read aloud to the group a part of the explanation.

“I’ve never had a bad experience here,” she says. “It’s been fantastic.”

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