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March 02, 2010

NIU Chemistry Club turns copper into gold

DeKalb, Ill. —The Northern Illinois University Chemistry Club invites the public to its St. Patrick’s Chem Demo Night. The magical evening of chemistry demonstrations will begin at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, in Faraday Hall 143.

The event will be free of charge to attend, but donations will be welcomed and a raffle drawing will be held to benefit the DeKalb County Youth Service Bureau, Inc. (YSB), a non-profit counseling agency dedicated to improving the lives of DeKalb County youth.

“We are excited for this opportunity to partner with the NIU chemistry department,” says Jason Nicol, executive director of YSB. “All donations received from the event will go toward programming for youth throughout DeKalb County.”

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, featured experiments will focus on Irish traditions and folklore.

“As you might imagine, many of the demos will involve the color green,” says Professor David Ballantine, faculty adviser of the Chem Club. “Some will evoke the ‘magic’ of leprechauns as they disappear in a puff of smoke, and some will involve their fascination with gold, such as turning copper pennies into gold coins.”

Some experiments planned for the evening may involve loud noises and produce some smoke and/or unpleasant smells and might not be appropriate for small children. To ensure the safety of the audience and the presenters, flash photography will not be permitted and members of the audience may be asked to move away from the demonstration area during some experiments.

Parking will be available in the NIU Parking Deck along the west side of Normal Road , about one block north of Lincoln Highway (Route 38). The Parking Deck is open for general parking after 7 p.m., except for reserved and handicapped spaces.

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Media Contact: David Ballantine, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Phone: (815) 753-6857
Email: dballant@niu.edu