Nail polish portraits, Skittles density rainbows and DNA bracelets were a few of the experiments area students conducted during the Super Science Saturday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Around 1,000 students attended the Oct. 28 event according to organizer Dr. George Stanley, LSU chemistry professor, and 100 LSU chemistry students volunteered.
Super Science Saturday’s purpose is to expose students to science, technology, engineering and math concepts known as STEM. This year’s event featured 20 on-hand demonstrations.
“This event gives kindergartners through 12th-graders an opportunity to see exciting things across the fields of science and math,” Stanley said. “Today gives the students a chance to see that science is exciting and not boring.”
Some high schoolers were able to receive extra credit for attending.
Lee High 12th-graders Reagan Naghavi and Ben Lynam played each other in the LSU Mathematics Department’s “Game of Hex,” a strategy board game played on a hexagonal grid.
“Today has been really interesting so far,” Naghavi said. “It’s a good opportunity to participate in science, and it’s been fun.”
“I plan on majoring in agricultural sciences so these are some cool experiments,” Lynam said.
“These are our future students,” Oliver Dasbach, chairman of LSU Mathematics said. “It’s a chance for them to learn something outside of what’s required for standardized testing. They can see experiments in action.”
Caroline Cagle, 13, learned about gems and rocks at the LSU geology station along with her father, Jeff.
“This has been very interesting,” Jeff Cagle said. “My wife is a STEM educator, and this gives kids exposure to science they wouldn’t normally see.”
Brianna Crenshaw, LSU geology student, provided the Cagles and others with information on foundational minerals with different textures and properties.
“Everyone uses things with minerals,” Crenshaw said. “I’m so glad to be out here and able to talk to kids about how cool science is.”
Grace Waguespack, a fourth-grader, made a density rainbow using sugar and food coloring with help from the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University’s chemistry department.
The rainbow experiment was “cool and fun,” Waguespack said. “I’m excited to be here today.”
Zachary High School 10th-graders Tyron Lucas and Jasmine Terrell both plan to major in biology while in college.
“The best thing I’ve seen is the liquid nitrogen experiment with the flowers that brittle and break apart after being soaked in the nitrogen,” Terrell said.
Some of the activity stations included experiments with staff from Albemarle, BASF, ExxonMobil, Solutions Through Science and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).
Super Science Saturday was sponsored by LSU chemistry department, the local chapter of the American Chemical Society and LSU Athletics.