PHS Chemistry Club Gives Students the Opportunity to Learn while Having Fun

New Chemistry Club introduces themselves at PHS

Do you like chemistry and doing experiments, but hate the pressure of grades? This club would be perfect for you!

PHS Sophomores are required to take a chemistry class, but now students have created a club outside the class to learn even more. The PHS Chemistry Club is advised by PHS science teachers Dr. Tenenbaum and Ms.Elmahalawy, and the club meets every other Thursday in room G109.

In order to learn and have fun, the club frequently conducts exciting experiments or plays games that display chemistry concepts.

“It’s student led, so sometimes we do experiments or activities, for example making plastic from potato starch,” said Tennenbaum. “Sometimes we do fun chemistry related games, like how many sticks can you poke through a ziplock bag of water.”

Even neater, students can play an important part in how these activities are selected.

Tirth Patel, the club’s president, mentions that, “Generally it’s a new [activity] every week. We take suggestions as well, so if you want to lead an activity you can also lead an activity.”

School can often be stressful, so making this club fun and informative was an important goal of Dr. Tennenbaum.

According to Dr. T, the club is “all the fun of chemistry without the stress! So if you enjoy doing labs, then come just have fun! If you hate tests, don’t worry! There are no lab write ups and no tests, it’s just fun and just being part of a chemistry community”

But, this club offers much more than just activities. They have very interesting plans for the future, including inviting guest speakers and going on trips.

“International Flavors and Fragrances [are]… one of New Jersey’s main fragrance and flavor companies, so if you ever see an ingredient label that says flavoring, that’s the company that makes the flavoring,” Dr. T explains. “The club has a community outreach arm so they will be, hopefully this late spring, going to one of the local, either elementary or middle school, to do a chemistry presentation or a magic show. In the fall, we hope our club will participate at the National Chemistry Week presentation competition at the Liberty Science Center.”

There is so much coming up for this new club, and Joselin Jimenez, the club’s vice president, expresses her shock about how much chemistry is around them in real life.

She says that doing different activities in the club is “really cool because you see all the chemistry that’s in such simple things” Who knew there was so much chemistry involved when you poke a stick into a ziplock bag with water!

Joselin encourages others to join this club because, “it’s a different approach to a club. A lot of clubs do competitions and stuff like that, [but] we focus more on fun things. It may not be stuff with dangerous chemicals because some have never taken the class, so they don’t know the safety procedures…It’s just fun to get people who really love chemistry to just have a fun time.

The club is open to all PHS students, even those who might not have had an easy time in chemistry class.

“Even if you aren’t good at the subject or don’t think it’s very interesting, you can still just participate in the activity,” said Tirth. “It makes overall learning about science… more fun when you do fun things with friends and work together. So if you’re looking for a good time, and make ice cream, you should show up!”

If you are interested in finding out more about Chemistry Club, please message Dr. Tennenbaum through Schooology or stop by an upcoming meeting!