Terrific and Scientific: Live Chemistry Demonstrations for K-12

What is science? 
Janielle Cuala Oobleck, a non-Newtonian fluid

What does a scientist do? What is an experiment? What is the scientific method?

On Thursday, May 30th, 2019 from 10AM-Noon our Cal State LA student volunteers and CBC members answered these questions and more during our annual outreach event Terrific & Scientific. A total of 105 elementary school students from Castelar Elementary School received tours of research labs, a campus tour and a final chemistry show. 

Tour Guides


How we organize this event for young elementary school children:

Elementary school children arrive at 9:30am. They are walked over to our science buildings and given brief announcements about safety and the importance of not touching anything while inside a research lab. Next, they are divided into small groups of 10 children each. One of our CalStateLA student volunteer gives this group a tour of their lab for no more than 15 minutes. During this tour, our students interact with the elementary school children, they talk about their research project and highlight its significance. The children also have a chance to ask questions about how a lab is set up, how many people in lab, the type of equipment they see, etc. After the tour, our CalStateLA student volunteer brings them back to the Ferguson Courtyard and swaps groups with someone else. The same tour begins again but with a different small group of children. Tour Guide

At 10:45AM, the entire group is gathered in the Ferguson Courtyard and walked over to King Hall Lecture Hall 1. During this time, a tour guide gives a brief campus tour, pointing out the different buildings, statutes, murals, and our CalStateLA Starbucks!

At 11AM, after lots of walking and asking questions, the children are ushered into the auditorium and asked to sit quietly so that the 1-hour show can begin!

At 12NOON, the children are dismissed, they exit the auditorium, eat their bagged lunch on campus and go back to their school buses so that they can return to their elementary school. During this interactive presentation, the children win prizes for answering questions about scientific phenomena. they are also challenged to think about what science is and taught the scientific method. 

Our 2019 Student Volunteers

(listed in the order they signed-up)

*Janielle Cuala, Zurita-Lopez Lab
**Jacob Parres-Gold, Wang Lab
Dr. Michael Hayes, Hayes Lab
Jessica Vazquez, Gomez Lab
Ricardo Ortiz, Gomez Lab
Chris Castillo, Vellanoweth Lab
Michael De Guzman, Ba Lab
Tyler Powell, Porter Lab
Andy Chieng, Wang Lab
Fatima Bedier, Wang Lab
Katia Salgado, Park Lab
‡Yasmeen Solano, Wen Lab
Eduardo Arce, Vellanoweth Lab
Noemi Romo, Vellanoweth Lab
‡Johanna Bautista, Vellanoweth Lab
‡Ignacio Gonzalez, Wen Lab
Daniel Fuentes, Zurita-Lopez Lab
Alejandra Leal, Zurita-Lopez Lab
Helen Chan, Zurita-Lopez Lab
Nina Baluyot-Reyes, Ba Lab
*Lead Organizer and Outgoing Chemistry & Biochemistry Club President.
**Incoming Chemistry & Biochemistry Club President for the 2019-20 School Year
‡Master's student


If you are a 4th or 5th grade teacher and would like to bring your students to our show, please contact Dr. Cecilia Zurita-Lopez: zuritalopez (at) calstatela.edu

The pictures posted here are of children and teachers from Castelar Elementary School. Thank you for visiting us Castelar Dragons!

Castelar Elementary School Children ToursAudience Participation!