Fun for the whole family

For more than a decade, the Department of Chemistry has presented Light Up the Night with Chemistry in the Dark – a free, one-hour show in May, at which audience members can take a look at the inner workings of fireworks, spontaneous combustions and things that glow in the dark. In addition to the outdoor evening show, the department now hosts an annual indoor Chemistry Magic Show during the winter months. The magic shows are a favourite with Ottawa residents of all ages.

Before the show, participants are given the opportunity to see some of the experiments up close, and to engage in hands-on activities like making ice cream with liquid nitrogen, encountering lots of interesting smells (including molecules that are left- or right-handed), and much more.

The show begins with eye-popping demonstrations followed by an explanation of the underlying chemical and scientific principles which cause them and the impacts these principles have on our everyday lives. Shows have featured posters about the chemistry of wine and chocolate and a presentation on how advances in chemistry affected the First World War.

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An event for the community

Instead of charging admission for this event, the department accepts donations of cash and non-perishable food for the Ottawa Food Bank, allowing the event to be open and accessible to everyone in our community. All cash donations go to the Ottawa Food Bank’s programs that support food in Ottawa-area schools.

The Chemistry Magic Show is part of both Science Rendezvous, a national day of celebration of science in Canada and activities to inspire young people to be enthusiastic about science, and Science Odyssey, a ten-day Canada-wide celebration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

From ‘Chemistry is pHun’ to the ‘Chemistry Magic Show’

For kids young and old in Ottawa, Carleton University’s Chemistry Magic Show has been a popular and accessible attraction since 2008. As a staple outreach event, the free shows use demonstrations to illustrate to the public how chemistry is not only fun and exciting, but far more prevalent, important and understandable than many people realize. From billowing smoke to big bangs (a crowd favourite), each demonstration has a simple chemical explanation.

Read the full story here.

2019 Indoor Show Stats