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Spooky Science Enchants Middle Schoolers
adawson

Form II students were treated to some "Spooky Science" today, when their traditional lessons were transformed into interactive, Halloween-themed experiments—like the Screeching Bat, Vampire Foam, and Witch's Shampoo—in observance of the ghoulish day.

Led by Middle School science teachers "Vampiress" Shauna Leffler, "Witch" Cecily Moyer, and "Sorceress" Debra Tambor, the third annual program was designed to make the science concepts students learn during the school year—notably physical and chemical reactions—fun and accessible.

"So much of chemistry is hard to see, so these experiments make the lab work visible, authentic, and exciting," Ms. Leffler says. "We also want chemistry to be fun, and the kids really enjoyed the Halloween-themed activities."

For example, Witch's Shampoo (also known as Elephant Toothpaste, for anyone who wants to search for a YouTube video) was an experiment that introduced chemical reactions to the students. They were captivated as they watched their teachers concoct "shampoo" by mixing together ingredients like hydrogen peroxide and a potassium iodide catalyst. Other experiments covered concepts such as physical and chemical changes, sublimation, and endothermic and exothermic reactions, and qualitative versus quantitative observations.

Pingry's Middle School science teachers continually seek to make their subject experiential and engaging. "The sixth-grade and Form I students are aware of the special Halloween experiments and seemed disappointed that they couldn't participate," Ms. Leffler remarked. Now, thanks to the efforts of a Vampiress, a Witch, and a Sorceress, they have something spooky to look forward to!


Photos: Dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, and potassium iodide combine to form witch's shampoo (top); dry ice, dish soap, and water combine to create haunted Halloween fog!

Contact: Andrea Dawson, Senior Writer, adawson@pingry.org