Attendees of the Chemistry Road Show at the Seguin Events Complex (Coliseum) watch with great interest as Dr. Pennington demonstrates the chemical reaction that occurs when potassium iodide is added to a graduated cylinder containing hydrogen peroxide, liquid dish soap and food coloring. The oxygen gas produced by reaction between the potassium iodide and hydrogen peroxide is caught by the soap, resulting in a colorful foam resembling “elephant toothpaste.”
SEGUIN, Texas – July 29, 2021 – Turning everyday objects into exciting learning opportunities through the wonders of chemistry has been an enjoyable experience for many area children (and also some adults) this summer, thanks to GVEC and the Texas A&M Chemistry Road Show.
The Chemistry Road Show, featuring Dr. Jim Pennington of the Texas A&M chemistry department, demonstrates that chemistry, unlike magic, is comprehensible, and chemistry and chemicals are safe and beneficial when used carefully and intelligently, according to the A&M Chemistry website.
The shows include colorful chemical reactions, demonstrations with fire and super cold materials, controlled explosions and more. The experiments are entertaining and exciting ways to teach attendees that chemicals and chemistry are not only vital to daily life, but also fascinating and fun.
In the past, GVEC participated in local libraries’ summer reading programs through reading electricity-related books to children that were then donated to all area libraries, as well as conducting electrical-concept and safety demonstrations. These have included interactive Van de Graff presentations which teaches the audience about conductors, insulators, and protons and electron via static electricity; our engaging PowerTown demonstration that uses real electrical voltage throughout a miniature town to display the dangers of power lines and transformers and how to be safe around them; and visiting linemen bringing a bucket truck and explaining how they stay safe while doing their jobs and ways kids can stay safe when it comes to electricity also.
For summer 2021, however, the Co-op changed course with the intent to spread enthusiasm for science to young people and illustrate all the things in their world made possible by science—including electricity.
Though the show did not feature electricity specifically, GVEC Community Relations Representative Kasie Tankersley explained the primary goal of the program was to try something different to get kids excited about science.
“This is a fun way to encourage active learning and spark interests in science. Part of our goal to deliver more as a cooperative is to not only engage with the kiddos in the communities we serve, but help to open their minds to what’s possible when education, creativity and fun are combined,” said Tankersley.
The Chemistry Road Show is a free public service funded by Texas A&M’s Department of Chemistry and College of Science Outreach program, along with Dow Chemical Company and Shell Oil Company.
GVEC was proud to bring the Chemistry Road Show to locations in our area in June and July, sponsoring a presentation at the Schertz Civic Center, and co-sponsoring shows with the City of Seguin Parks and Recreation Department at the Seguin Events Complex (Coliseum) and the Robert Lee Brothers Jr. Memorial Library at the J.B. Wells Expo Center in Gonzales.
Learn more about GVEC’s community presentation offerings at gvec.org/community.
GVEC is a progressive cooperative focused on delivering products and services that empower the people and communities in South Central Texas. A trusted, local partner since 1938, today GVEC provides dependable electricity, high-speed internet, and beyond the meter services like AC/heating, solar and battery storage solutions, and electrician services. The Cooperative proudly serves over 100,000 consumers in surrounding areas through five customer service locations in Cuero, Gonzales, La Vernia, Schertz and Seguin.