Community, Creswell

Rad games, mad science

Aaron Berenbach from Explosions, Inc. combusts a hydrogen-filled balloon, allowing kids to observe a chemical reaction involving removing hydrogen gas from hydrochloric acid, capturing the escaping hydrogen in a balloon, and then exploding that flammable-gas-filled balloon by igniting it. Gini Davis/The Creswell Chronicle

Kids and chemicals both reacted explosively – the former with laughter, the latter with… well, explosions – as Creswell Library hosted Minute to Win It and Explosions, Inc.’s Aaron Berenbach for two Summer Reading Programs last week.
Wednesday’s one-minute challenges tested kids’ resourcefulness, dexterity – and perhaps patience. The games, variously involving/combining plastic cups, ping-pong balls, rubber bands, water, pasta, straws, a bucket, balloons, M&Ms and Oreos bore such monikers as Three Balloons, Bucket Head, Moving on Up, Pyramid Stack, Face the Cookie, Pond Skipping, Rapid Fire, M&M Moves, Noodling Around and This Blows.
Kids attempting all 10 earned a Library Buck.
During Explosions, Inc.’s educational and entertaining Saturday show about chemical reactions, kids learned that – at least in Aaron’s hands – chemistry’s a little mad, totally ”bad” and intriguingly dangerous to know.
Aaron’s takeaways – delivered rapid-fire while making ”solid liquid,” loud bangs and real fire:
Chemistry is the study of the 103 ”Legos” (building blocks) of the universe – and ”just a handful of these make everything.”
Chemical reactions involve ”either building with these ‘blocks’ or breaking them apart.”
Chemical reactions ”change substances and cannot be undone.”
Common characteristics of chemical reactions are color or temperature change, release of energy or gas, and formation of a precipitate (an insoluble solid emerging from a liquid solution).
”Destroyed” matter doesn’t go away, it simply changes forms and/or breaks down into its smallest components, invisible to the unaided eye.
And last, but not least: ”In chemistry,” Aaron cautioned, ”don’t taste (or smell, or touch…) the science!”



View this profile on Instagram


The Chronicle (@thechronicle1909) • Instagram photos and videos