P.C. Chemistry Club wows younger students


Nine students from Franklin Elementary School in Port Angeles became the proud possessors of rare “golden coins” when they visited a chemistry lab at Peninsula College in late May.

In a series of chemical demonstrations, Peninsula College Chemistry Club students Nick Ivarson, Ammon Dodson, Kevin Caple, Samantha Lauth, Trent LaCour and Grant Shogren also showed the enthralled children how various colors can be emitted by particular metals when excited by a flame. 

In the first demonstration, the P.C. students showed how lithium in the form of a salt emitted a characteristic red color when excited by flame, but it was the “golden coins” that excited the children, who ranged in age from 6-10.

In a demonstration on the alchemical origins of chemistry, the six Peninsula College chemistry students showed the youngsters how to transform ordinary metals into precious metals as the group created a “golden” brass alloy penny made from ordinary copper and zinc.

Each of the Franklin children received their own “golden” penny to take home. Franklin elementary school parent Gena Mead, who attended the event, said: “The CHEM club did a great job … the kids loved it.”

The Peninsula College Chemistry Club is a local chapter of the American Chemical Society and seeks to educate and promote awareness of the field of Chemistry. The local P.C. chapter was established in the fall of 2012 and is a student-run club. 

Other events have included taking a field trip to the chemistry laboratories at Boeing in Seattle, participating in Science Saturday at the Port Angeles Public Library, and hosting retired analytical chemist Irv Rabinowitz, from Pepsi Cola, as guest speaker.

For more information about the club, contact club advisor professor Ben Weintraub at
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