Wednesday August 1, AM Workshops

W54: Caveman Chemistry: Hands-On Projects in Chemical Technology

Kevin Dunn, Hampden-Sydney College

Non-science students often approach chemistry with reluctance and trepidation. This workshop will explore a strategy for engaging students through a series of 28 hands-on chemical projects. We begin in the Stone Age, making fire by friction, arrowheads, and honey wine. We make a ceramic crucible from clay, spin yarn from wool, and extract potash from wood ashes. We smelt bronze in our crucible and dye our yarn with indigo. In later projects we make paper from hay, soap from fat, mauve dye from aniline, and photographs from egg whites and salt. Along the way we learn a history of chemical technology from the Paleolithic campfire, to the crafts of antiquity, to the alchemy of the Middle Ages, to the chamber acid and soda factories of the Industrial Revolution, to the multi-national chemical giants of the twentieth century. The registration fee includes the book, Caveman Chemistry; 3-hour session.

Intended Audience: HS/UG

$40 fee; limit of 40 participants

Wednesday, August 1, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., 151 N Frear
Wednesday, August 1, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., 151 N Frear


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