The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

New business ideas presented and judged at BizPitch Competition
RAs elect to establish RA union on campus
How do we handle a culture of burnout?
Women’s Track and Field dominates Colonial Relays

Women’s Track and Field dominates Colonial Relays

April 12, 2024

“Quiet on Set” reveals harsh truth about children’s TV

“Quiet on Set” reveals harsh truth about children’s TV

April 12, 2024

Making a difference locally: Students bring back The Listening Post

Making a difference locally: Students bring back The Listening Post

April 12, 2024

View All

Chemistry Club hosts annual Halloween show

Emily+Paine+%2F+Bucknell+University
Emily Paine / Bucknell University

Bucknell’s Chemistry Club Halloween Show annually dazzles young people with fire-breathing pumpkins, foamy explosions and spooky science. At the same time, it gives students the creative liberty to not only plan the show’s chemical tricks but to also get the treat of performing them before a standing-room-only audience.

This year’s show took place Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. in its traditional McDonnell Hall Amphitheater location. Students also hosted Halloween kids’ activity tables for all young people on the Swartz Hall patio prior to the show.

Chemistry Club student leaders have taken on more responsibility for planning this year.

“This year we increased our executive board and added two committee positions for the Halloween show,” says Marla Forfar ’24, the club’s president. “It has been more student-focused, and we meet weekly to help plan everything.”

Story continues below advertisement

The club’s expanded executive board has worked with chemistry faculty to order supplies, determine what specific chemicals are needed for each trick and promote the show in the downtown Lewisburg community.

What started small seven years ago as a fun event for club members has grown immensely, now with an audience that ranges from 400 to 600 people annually. That growth requires more planning to pull it off. Club members start preparation in early July. Bucknell Student Government also provides show funding.

Over time, long-time organizer Professor David Rovnyak and the students have found a standard set of tricks that entertain the audience. That regular routine has proven helpful now that Rovnyak has had to take a sabbatical step away, but the student leaders have made a few exciting changes this year.

Some of the tricks can be dangerous if not performed properly.

“You need to know what chemicals you’re actually dumping into the pumpkins before it actually explodes everywhere just in case it gets on you,” Forfar says.

“It is a great opportunity for chemistry students to put their education into practice,” Rovnyak adds.

While a background in science and chemistry is helpful, show participation is open to students of all majors. Chemistry Club members teach them everything they need to know about the science and the tricks prior to the performance.

It all comes together to put science into action and give student scientists a chance to become the stars of the show.

“Especially with all of the little kids that come to the show, they get so excited and they’re cheering for you, it definitely feels more like a performance than just doing the lab work,” says Maddy Hinkle ’24, the club’s vice president. “It almost feels like you’re doing a magic show for them. Just seeing their faces light up is one of the most special aspects of participating in the show.”

The pre-show activities tables allowed young participants to experience different experiments. Most tables provide children with souvenirs so they can continue the experiments at home. The Lewisburg Children’s Museum also sponsors one of the tables as a valued show partner.

“Taking our passion for chemistry and giving it to the kids is something that we do by having the Halloween show, and we hope to inspire them to be future scientists,” Forfar says.

(Visited 33 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Michael Taromina, News Editor

Comments (0)

The editorial board of The Bucknellian reserves the right to review all comments before they are posted on the website and remove any if deemed offensive, illegal or in bad taste. Comments left on our web pages are not necessarily in-line with the views expressed by the writer.
All The Bucknellian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *