Department of Chemistry

USM Chemistry Club Makes Science Fun at Deering Oaks Park

Children of all ages will be entertained when the University of Southern Maine Chemistry Club blow up Portland’s Deering Oaks Park as part of the Crusher’s Kids Concert in the Park series at 12:30 p.m., Thursday, July 26 at the Bandstand. All the event’s demonstrations performed by USM students — dissolving a metal spoon, igniting dollar bills that will not burn, and all those explosions — are designed to make science fun and accessible to kids during this free, family event.

USM’s Chemistry Club frequently puts on performances to educate and entertain K-12 students about the principles of chemistry through engaging demonstrations. The club most recently appeared at Mahoney Middle School in South Portland where they delighted students by smashing racket balls frozen by liquid nitrogen and launching an ethanol rocket.

“We are especially excited to have the opportunity to perform in Deering Oaks Park,” says Layla Venturini, president of the USM Chemistry Club, “It’s a fantastic chance to show kids the exciting things we can do with science.”

The club also plans to do a thermite demonstration at the show, creating molten iron out of two very high burning powders. Venturini is especially excited about the addition of this demonstration to the show. “It is super cool and we are doing it in a quantity that our club has never done before for a show.”

For more information about the University of Southern Maine Chemistry Club, including setting up a demonstration for your school or business, please contact Layla Venturini at or visit the Chemistry Club website.