Playing with fire on Mole Day

Flames rising from the methane gas trapped in soap bubbles, Caitlyn Meiser (10) watches as her hands catch on fire during Mr. Andy Ribbing’s 3rd hour Honors Chemistry class, Oct. 22. This special demonstration of a combustion reaction for chemistry students is presented each year on Mole Day. “I just felt the warmth of the fire, and it went up fast,” Meiser said.  In order for this experiment to work, one must get their arms wet with water up to their elbows and scoop the bubbles into their palms. The bubbles scooped into the hands are then be lit to produce a flame. Madison Pope (10) holds her friend’s arms back so that Meiser wouldn’t accidentally light her hair on fire.  “I thought it was really exciting,” Pope said. “It was cool because you could see the bubbles diminish.” Unless students take chemistry they will not experience Mole Day firsthand. “On Mole Day we celebrate Avogandro’s number which is 6.02 times 10 to the 23. It gives us a representation of the particles. We do some demonstrations and talk about the chemistry behind these demonstrations,”  Mr. Ribbing said. “It’s a way to get kids excited about chemistry.”