American Wizard Competition

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Undergraduate Chemistry Demonstration Contest
16 April 2010 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
117 Osmond
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The PSU Chemical Education Interest Group is happy to announce the 4th Annual “American Wizard” competition.  Members of the PSU community and the public are invited to come to the competition and participate as an audience member.  American Wizard is a lecture demonstration contest created to foster interactions between faculty and undergraduate students in the Department of Chemistry. The format for the contest is similar to that of “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance”.  This pop-culture format is an entertaining way to promote the understanding of chemical principles and the development and improvement of demonstrations in the undergraduate classroom.   You and a faculty coach will select and develop a short chemistry lecture demonstration.  The presentation can be an enhanced version of a demonstration currently used in the chemistry classroom or it can be completely new idea.  You are expected to understand the chemical principles behind the demonstration and you are also expected to work with the stockroom and chemistry lecture demonstrator to prepare the necessary materials for practice sessions and the contest performance. You will perform your lecture demonstration within the 5 minute time period before an expert panel and an audience of your peers on the night of the competition. This year we are pleased to announce that emeritus chemistry faculty members Dr. John Lowe, Dr. Roy Olofson, Dr. Peter Jurs, and Dr. Bob Minard will be the members of our esteemed American Wizard Panel.  The expert panel shares their comments at the conclusion of each presentation.  The panel also ranks each presentation based on the following criteria: educational value or how well it demonstrates a scientific principle, safety and practicality, can it be performed in many settings, and finally how entertaining was the demonstration. The audience is then allowed to vote for their favorite presentation and the contestant with the highest combined ranking wins the title of “American Wizard” for the next academic year along with a fabulous prize!

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