Chemistry Day

Registration for Chemistry Day is Now Closed!

Thank you to all who registered for Chemistry Day. Registration is now closed for 2014. Registration for 2015 will be open August 1, 2015. We had an amazing turnout of students, parents, and teachers from across the state and the tri-state area. In all $7,500 in scholarships were awarded to high school seniors and numerous prizes were given out for the day’s activities. Each year we are surprised how quickly our registration list fills to capacity, so get your registration in quickly once it’s open. Hope to see you then.

The Sweet Side of Chemistry

Saturday, October 11, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Hamilton Hall
University of Nebraska-Lincoln (City Campus)
Chemistry Day

Chemistry Day is hosted by the UNL Department of Chemistry and is a FREE day filled with science demos, chemistry lab tours, hands-on science experiments, and a light breakfast and lunch for all participants! Students, parents, and teachers will also have the opportunity to learn more about the UNL Department of Chemistry undergraduate program, careers in chemistry, and scholarship opportunities!

This event is intended for junior and senior high school age students and parents/teachers. Registration starts August 1st and openings fill up fast so act quickly once registration opens.

For more information about Chemistry Day, please contact

The UNL Department of Chemistry would like to extend their gratitude to the Carl A. Donaldson Fund in Chemistry for their continued support of Chemistry Day!

Chemistry Day aims to:

  • Introduce students to the UNL Department of Chemistry undergraduate programs including clubs, award winning instructors, and scholarship information
  • Increase the number of UNL BA and BS Chemistry majors
  • Get students thinking about the relationship between their chemistry degree and their future career
  • Introduce opportunities available, specifically graduate and professional schools
Potential Events
  • Guests will see the award-winning Chemistry Resource Center, our Undergraduate Instrumentation Center, and the Undergraduate Lounge
  • Learn about the latest chemical research during research lab tours that are led by professors
  • Student will be introduced to our undergraduate program, the relationship between their degree and their future career, clubs, award winning instructors, and scholarships during a 50-min presentation that includes numerous "exothermic" chemical demonstrations
  • Lunch and T-Shirt Chromatography
  • A special roundtable lunch discussion for teacher's only
Potential Activities
  • Hydrogen gas is highly flammable and produces a loud bang when ignited
  • Sugars in the gummy bear are oxidized by KClO3
  • N2 gas is condensed to its boiling point (77K) under conditions of high pressure. It readily freezes many household objects and evaporates rapidly.
  • Elephant toothpaste made by the reaction of dish soap and hydrogen peroxide using a KI catalyst
  • Kinetics - This interactive demonstration shows how reaction rates can be affected by concentration of the reactants.
  • Red organic dye found in red cabbage acts as an acid/base indicator
  • Liquid iron is formed from the reduction of rust using aluminum metal
  • Nylon - the condensation of an organic diacid and diamine to form a polyamide, nylon
  • Simple hydrocarbons are highly flammable organic molecules often used as a fuel source. Our bottle rocket flies when isopropanol is ignited by electric current arcing across two wires.
  • CO2 would normally put out a fire; however, in this case Mg actually pulls oxygen from the CO2 in order for it to burn, which leaves pure black carbon
Chemistry Day Schedule

Here's what to expect at UNL Chemistry Day!

8:30 Registration and Breakfast
Breakfast refreshments provided. Register for the Chemistry Day Scavenger Hunt, visit lobby exhibits, and turn in transcripts to be considered for scholarships.
9:00 Welcome and Overview of Schedule of Events
9:15 Hamilton Hall Lab Tours
Visit working research labs in the Department of Chemistry. Each visit will last 15 minutes during which the professors will talk about the research taking place in the lab. Also, use this time to work on the scavenger hunt by asking questions of your tour guide and/or the professors.
10:15 Science Demo
Faculty and staff will perform a science demonstration that will leave you speechless.
10:30 Panel Discussion with Current UNL Chemistry Undergrads
You'll meet current chemistry undergrads and have the chance to ask them questions about our undergrad program, being a chemistry major, and life on campus. Also, get a sneak peek of what our new undergrad labs will look like.
11:00 Science Demo
Faculty and staff will perform a science demonstration that will awaken your senses.
11:15 Alumni Presentation
Learn how a degree in chemistry launched a career for a UNL Chemistry alum.
11:30 The next one and a half hours will be divided into three sections:

Lunch: Enjoy a free lunch catered by Valentino's Pizza in the Chemistry Resource Center.
T-shirts: Design a free T-shirt using chromatography.
Quizbowl: Compete for prizes in the Chemistry Quizbowl.
Parents/Teacher Round Table: Participate in a unique and lively discussion about current topics in teaching, moderated by one of our expert teachers, during lunch.
1:00 Science Demos
Take part in hands-on science demos! You will have the opportunity to take part in three hands-on science demos. These demonstrations will take place in our undergrad labs. Goggles will be provided.

Parents/Teachers - You are also invited to take part in these hands-on demos. Information sheets will be handed out to let you know how to do these experiments at home or in your class room.
2:30 Championship Quizbowl Round
The three winners of the qualifying rounds at lunch will compete for a grand prize.
3:00 Announcement of Scholarships and Prizes
Scholarship and Scavenger Hunt winners announced.
Registration for Chemistry Day is now closed!

Thank you to all who registered for Chemistry Day. Registration is now closed for 2014. Registration for 2015 will be open August 1, 2015. Alternatively, we invite you to visit our campus another time for a tour of our facilities. If you are interested in a tour, please call Peg Bergmeyer at 1-402-472-3514.

Chemistry Day Scholarships

High School Seniors can register to win scholarships ranging from $750 – 1,000. To be eligible students must:

  • Have an overall GPA of B+ or better
  • Have completed a high school chemistry course

To apply for the Chemistry Day Scholarship, bring a copy of your high school transcript to Chemistry Day and hand it in at registration. Winners will be announced at the end of the day!

Learn more about our other undergraduate chemistry scholarships.

*Students who win are required to enroll at UNL as a Chemistry Major if they wish to receive their scholarship.