What happens when you feed a watermelon that doesn't feel good?
The third grade class at St. Joseph's Regional Academy in Jim Thorpe knows.
The answer is, you get a mess.
Recently, "Professor" Patrick Martino, a senior at Misericordia University majoring in chemistry and secondary education, held a special chemistry class for the students of Patricia Martino's class. They learned about chemical reactions, changing liquids to solids, and how science can be fun. Patrick is the son of Mrs. Martino, who has taught at St. Joseph's Regional Academy for over 25 years.
Patrick said he was happy the school and his mother invited him to teach the students about chemistry.
"It was a great time," he said. "Everything worked out well and all the kids had a great time. It was a fun atmosphere and the kids asked a lot of good questions and gave great answers. I wanted to show the kids that science can be fun and learned not only from a textbook but also hands-on."
He noted that he plans to go on to graduate school after he graduates next year and hopes to eventually become either a chemistry teacher or professor.
During the chemistry class, Patrick used chemicals, loaned to him by the university, to perform fun and educational experiments.
He first added sugar, water and another solvent to a clear plastic bottle and screwed on the top. He then asked a student to shake the bottle. The students were amazed that when their classmate shook the solution, it turned from clear to a purple blue, without the aid of dye. The bottle was then set aside.
Patrick asked for assistants to help him make slime. The students put one drop of food coloring in a cup of alcohol solution. Patrick then added the "secret slime ingredient."
Once the combination was made, the students cheered as Patrick stirred the mixture. As he stirred, a gooey, slime formed, showing how a chemical reaction took place and changed the liquid's properties to a solid.
The students were then treated to their own bottle of homemade slime that they could take home to their parents.
As the class continued, the students pointed out multiple times that the bottle solution had turned back to clear. Each time, another student, and even Mrs. Martino, shook the bottle to see if they change the color of the solution to blue. Each attempt failed.
The final experiment the students were treated to was Patrick's favorite.
He introduced his special guest, "Mr. Watermelon," a hollowed out watermelon with a sad face carved into its shell.
Patrick added three ingredients for the "watermelon food" to see if they could help Mr. Watermelon feel better, but instead of turning that frown upside down, the "watermelon food" reacted and the watermelon began to smoke and foam.
Patrick explained that the chemicals reacted with each other, causing the reaction inside the watermelon, which made it appear to throw up. He then explained the mystery of the changing water bottle. The oxygen in the bottle reacted with the water solution to change the color. As it sat, the oxygen and solution separated and solution changed back to clear.
The students squealed with delight as they happily answered questions about chemical reactions.