Outreach at the Department of Chemistry 

Toole Hall building

The Department of Chemistry at The University of New Brunswick is extensively involved in the community through our outreach programs. These activities include bringing high school students to our laboratories to perform experiments, going to local high schools to help students with chemistry projects, and going to local schools to perform chemistry demonstrations. Our outreach activities have involved Fredericton High School, Leo Hayes High School, Oromocto High School, Southern Victoria High School and McAdam High School, as well as organizations like Science East.

Each of our two first-year chemistry laboratories can accommodate fifty students, and each student has access to either a ventilation snorkel or a fume hood. The two upper-year chemistry laboratories provide full fume hoods for each student group due to the more intricate chemistry that is performed in these laboratories. Lab coats, gloves and goggles are provided for each participant. Commonly performed experiments are:

  • The Copper Cycle: Participants take a small sample of copper through various states that are differentiated by colour and solubility, before reforming the original copper metal. The Copper Cycle demonstrates the importance of observations to understanding the chemistry that is occurring during a reaction.
  • Polyprotic Titration: This titration of phosphoric acid relies on computer integrated pH electrodes and software that records and analyzes titration data. The experiment allows students to evaluate the quality of their data and also shows them how the experimental data relates to parameters like concentration and pKa.

Our outreach program is always growing and we enjoy developing new experiments in conjunction with teachers that will fit into their curriculum. This practice allows the students to use chemicals that are not normally available at their schools and greatly expands their experimental experience.  

Members of the Department of Chemistry also perform demonstrations for groups, either at Toole Hall or in the community. Dr. Valerie Reeves and Dr. Sara Eisler regularly put on demonstrations such as Identify the Unknown, Diet Coke and Mentos Eruption, and Acid-Base Indicators for groups such as Worlds UNBound and Go-Go After School. Dr. James Tait is a regular at Science East summer camps for Magic Potion demonstrations.

If you are interested in organizing an outreach event with the Department of Chemistry please contact Dr. James Tait (jtait@unb.ca).

 

First year chemistry lab