SUNY Potsdam Brews Up its Third Chemtoberfest for Sept. 27


Phi Kappa Pi members Michelle Robinson and Alex Darling make liquid nitrogen ice cream for youngsters at last year’s Chemtoberfest.

SUNY Potsdam's Department of Chemistry is perfecting a formula for fun, with the College's third annual Chemtoberfest, which will ring in Oktoberfest 2013 on Sept. 27. The free family festival also honors National Chemistry Week.

"We plan for Chemtoberfest to be bigger and better than ever—third time's a charm! Last year, we focused on the student involvement aspect of the event, by collaborating with a number of student-run organizations on campus. This year, we've reached out to campus departments and local business partners as well," said event chair John C. Proetta, an adjunct instructor of chemistry.

The scientific celebration will be offered from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27 in the Barrington Student Union Plaza. The free event is family-friendly and will be offered rain or shine, with the event moving into the union if needed. Parking is available in Lots 31 or 20.

Part fall festival, part science fair, Chemtoberfest will offer a variety of activities to usher in autumn and spread a passion for chemistry to young and old. Chemtoberfest 2013 will feature science demonstrations, a chemistry magic show, interactive activities and snacks provided by Potsdam Auxiliary College Education Services.

Attendees will have a chance to run across "oobleck," a Dr. Seuss-inspired substance that has properties of both liquids and solids. They can also make flubber, and visit the alchemy station. Fluorescent materials will be on display along with music in a "rave cave." There will be cinema chemistry demonstrations, so guests can learn about the science behind the effects in the Harry Potter movies as well. Free face painting will be offered all day. Other activities include a reptile petting zoo, demonstrations of forensic science and a do-it-yourself lava lamp station. Guests can also learn about the chemistry behind spray tanning and natural hair dyes. There will even be a helicopter landing at the event.

PACES will offer snacks like cotton candy, ice cream made with nitrogen, candied apples and popcorn, while students explain the science behind the treats. For guests age 21 and older with ID, there will also be tasting booths sponsored by two local vendors, High Peaks Winery and St. Lawrence Brewing Co.

The entertainment line-up is as follows:

·11:30 a.m.:Dr. Walker's Band

·12 p.m.:Chemistry magic show

·1 p.m.: Voices of Victory gospel choir

·1:30 p.m.:Team NV dance team

·2:15 p.m.: The Homewreckers

·3 p.m.: The A-Sharps

·3:30 p.m.:The Potsdam Pitches

·4 p.m.: Stay Tuned

·4:30 p.m.: Potsdam Pointercounts

The Tap Dance Club and Northern Ice & Dance will also perform, as will the SUNY Potsdam Musical Theatre Organization.

Funded in part by an Innovative Project Grant from the American Chemical Society, SUNY Potsdam's Chemtoberfest is sponsored by the Northern New York local section of the American Chemistry Society and the Department of Chemistry. It is also sponsored by PACES (Dining Services, the Union Market and the College Store), the Student Government Association and the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program.

Chemtoberfest business partners include: North Country Neighbors, Evans & White ACE Hardware, Northern Music & Video, Foxy Roxy's, The Hop, Northern Ice & Dance, Willow Tree Florist, LifeNET of Northern New York, High Peaks Winery, St. Lawrence Brewing Co., Misty Hollow and Triple "A" Building Center.

Campus sponsors include: the departments of chemistry, biology, geology, physics and environmental science, as well as Student Health Services and the Office of Career Planning.

Student group sponsors include: the SUNY Potsdam Tap Club, the Harry Potter Alliance, Biology Club, Beta Beta Beta biology honor society, Gamma Sigma Epsilon chemistry honor society and Phi Eta Sigma first-year honor society, as well as the Zeta Gamma Sigma and Phi Kappa Pi sororities.

For more information about Chemtoberfest 2013, contact Proetta at or call the Department of Chemistry at (315) 267-2264.

SUNY Potsdam's Department of Chemistry offers a rigorous and well-balanced curriculum that provides a solid foundation for successful graduate study or a career in chemistry or a chemistry-related field. The department is known for its strong and diverse undergraduate research programs, its $1.3 million in grants to support teaching and research, and the success of its students' acceptance to competitive graduate and professional schools. To find out more, visit

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,350 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts. Empowered by a culture of creativity, the campus community recently launched Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, which aims to raise $27 million by the College's bicentennial in 2016.