PALM DESERT, CA—The Marywood-Palm Valley (MWPV) School’s 10th grade chemistry students joined College of the Desert chemistry students on Oct. 26, to celebrate a holiday nationally recognized by chemistry teachers: Mole Day. Twenty-one Marywood-Palm Valley students traveled to the COD campus and participated in a college-level chemistry lab.
Students spent four hours on the COD campus and worked with Associate Chemistry Professor Joana Ciurash’s chemistry lab on projects including single and double displacements reactions, melting point experiments, titration experiments, and gas chromatography experiments. MWPV chemistry teacher William Kim said his chemistry students were excited about being in a college-level chemistry lab. “The students will be making ice cream using liquid nitrogen. They can’t wait,” Kim said.
COD contacted Kim to invite his class to the campus to celebrate Mole Day. “This would not have been possible if not for the overwhelming support from the past and current college presidents and deans,” Ciurash said.
“My goal in taking students to celebrate Mole Day is to help them see the bigger picture for chemistry and its applications,” explained Kim. “I am excited to help make chemistry relevant to our students and want the students to see some of the more advanced chemistry techniques coming out of a college-level classroom.”
This spring, Kim’s senior-level physics class launched a weather balloon into the stratosphere, using a weather balloon kit and curriculum from the University of Texas.
Mole Day has been celebrated annually on Oct. 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m., Mole Day commemorates Avogadro’s Number (6.02 x 1023), which is a basic measuring unit in chemistry. Amadeo Avogadro (1776-1858) discovered the measurement unit. Mole Day is celebrated in chemistry classes throughout the nation each year in an effort to foster interest in chemistry among students and the public.
Mole Day is an unofficial holiday first written about in an issue of The Science Teacher in the early 1980s. Maurice Oehler, now a retired Wisconsin chemistry teacher, was inspired by the article and founded the National Mole Day Foundation (NMDF) in May 1991. Some schools celebrate Mole Week around the Oct. 23, Mole Day date.
For more information, visit www.MWPV.org or call 760.328.0861.