It was my experience in high school that some subjects, calculus and chemistry in particular, were so intimidating that I avoided them altogether. That is until today when I was invited by Lynn Skutches, Sonora High School’s chemistry teacher, to attend “Mole Day”.
First off to get in the classroom you had to crawl through a tunnel. This put everyone in a very silly mood- who knew you could have fun in a chemistry class? There was plenty of mole memorabilia (stuffed animals- even chemistry music) around the classroom.
The room, half of which features three lab benches is crammed with 32 desks packed with students. The chemistry students are mostly juniors and have been studying Avogadro’s Number (6.02 x 10^23), which is a basic measuring unit in chemistry. For more about Mole Day and the formula here is the official website www.moleday.org. This year’s theme was pirates so the framed artwork of a gun slinging Jack Sparrow and a mole bursting forth from the ground was especially treasured.
A Mole is a very useful measurement on the atomic level but in other terms very hard to comprehend. In the lyrics of “A Mole Is a Unit” that we all sang out loud (badly) goes:
If you gave a mole of pennies to distribute
’round the world,
Give to each of the five billion grownups, boys, and girls,
There wouldn’t be a single soul down and out of luck,
Cause everybody in the world would get a trillion bucks!
The classroom was packed with projects made especially for Mole Day which included; posters, a Pirate Mole Ship, Food (Mole Crackers, TaMoles, Decorated cakes…) Everything had been adapted to celebrate the event. Temporary tattoos were handed out, we recited the Ten Com-MOLE-ments (also in Lynn Skutches shirt).
Five of the students created a video, “Moley Shores” a hilarious spoof on the TV show Jersey Shore featuring the equation 6.02 x 10 to the 23rd power in a Jersey accent, “Avogadro’s Club” and of course the emphatic “Holy Moley!”
Mole day turned out to be so much fun I still can’t believe I was in chemistry class. I am really greatful that Sonora High School has such an inspiring chemistry teacher and enthusiastic students. Thanks for the great food and I think I’ll keep celebrating the chemistry fun as required till 6:02PM tonight!