Chem Grad Students Inspire Small Scientists

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Organic chemistry graduate students performed outreach events at the Warner Avenue Elementary School and UCLA’s Krieger daycare facility in October, 2015.

Graduate students Robert Susick, Michael Yamano, Lucas Morrill, and Liana Hie visited the Warner classroom of energetic third graders on October 16. Their visit included teaching children about chemicals and taste, in addition to the phases of matter. This was relayed into a demonstration where the graduate students made “dippin’ dot” ice cream using fresh ingredients and liquid nitrogen. Finally, the children completed a work sheet that helped them understand the chemical formula for vanillin and how to build a souvenir molecular model of the tasty ingredient.

Graduate students demonstrate how to make ice cream to third graders at Warner Avenue Elementary school.

(Left to right) Graduate students Lucas Morrill, Liana Hie, Robert Susick, and Michael Yamano at Warner Avenue Elementary school with the lab equipment used to make the ice cream for the children; the graduate students demonstrate how to make ice cream.
For the Krieger daycare event on October 27, graduate students Jacob Dander, Bryan Simmons, and Joyann Barber visited the ‘Owl’ classroom, which mostly consists of three-year old children. After a lesson on safety, children prepared their own “silly putty” using household ingredients and witnessed two “dry ice volcanoes” in UCLA colors.

(Left to right) At the Krieger daycare event the children learned how to make “dry ice volcanoes” in UCLA colors.  Budding scientists 

Elaina and Kaylie Garg 

show off their silly putty at the event.

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(Left to right) Prof. Neil Garg with graduate students Jacob Dander, Joyann Barber, and Bryan Simmons.
In both classes, the children also received a custom UCLA Chemistry/Biochemistry beach ball that featured important chemicals pertaining to Halloween. Robert, Michael, Lucas, Liana Hie, Jacob, Bryan, and Joyann are graduate students studying in Neil Garg’s laboratory.  His daughters, Elaina and Kaylie, were proud participants in the science activities. To learn more please visit the Garg Research Group website. Please note that the lab safety gear and lab equipment in these photos are used only for demonstrations and are not used in actual labs. The students were not working with hazardous materials.