Mole Day was explosive at NBAHS

No, this day wasn’t about getting rid of those pesky critters that tunnel through the earth and kill tracts of beautiful, green lawns.

Mole Day 2013 is a celebration of science, and at North Branch Area High School Wednesday morning, science was on display in grand, explosive fashion.

After a myriad of science experiments were conducted in the school auditorium, high school science teacher Derrick Rink brought students out on the school’s loading dock for a display that lit up the predawn sky.

As a precaution, firefighters from the North Branch Fire Department were present for the demonstrations.

Background on Mole Day

According to the National Mole Day Foundation, the annual celebration runs 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m. Oct. 23 to highlight Avogadro’s number (approximately 6.02 x 10 to the 23rd power), a unit in chemistry.

From the foundation’s website, moleday.org:

Mole Day was created as a way to foster interest in chemistry. Schools throughout the United States and around the world celebrate Mole Day with various activities related to chemistry and/or moles.

For a given molecule, one mole is a mass (in grams) whose number is equal to the atomic mass of the molecule. For example, the water molecule has an atomic mass of 18, therefore one mole of water weighs 18 grams. An atom of neon has an atomic mass of 20, therefore one mole of neon weighs 20 grams. In general, one mole of any substance contains Avogadro’s Number of molecules or atoms of that substance. This relationship was first discovered by Amadeo Avogadro (1776-1858) and he received credit for this after his death.

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