SUNY Potsdam Chemtoberfest Features Demonstrations, Food & More


SUNY Potsdam chemistry students organize science demonstrations for the annual Chemtoberfest, taking place this year on Oct. 19 at SUNY Potsdam.

SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Chemistry is brewing up a formula for fun—the second annual campus Chemtoberfest, honoring National Chemistry Week.

“You can be sure to expect mind-boggling demonstrations, take-home chemistry crafts, live guest performances, tons of free food—and maybe an explosion here or there,” said event chair John C. Proetta, an adjunct instructor of chemistry at the College.

The scientific celebration will be offered from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, in tents set up at the College’s Minerva Plaza and on the plaza in front of the Barrington Student Union.

The event is free, and guests of all ages are invited to attend. Chemtoberfest will take place rain or shine. Parking is available in Lots 1, 2 and 6.

Part fall festival, part science fair, the event will have a variety of activities to usher in autumn and spread a passion for chemistry to young and old. Chemtoberfest 2012 will feature science demonstrations, a chemistry magic show, a “wizard training” course, book giveaways, interactive activities and snacks provided by Potsdam Auxiliary College Education Services.

“The driving force behind Chemtoberfest is SUNY Potsdam students who want to share their passion for science,” Proetta said. “This collaborative event brings together groups from across campus for a hands-on fall-themed science festival exhibiting the wonders of chemistry and its importance in our everyday lives.”

Attendees will have a chance to check out demonstrations of the chemistry behind snacks like cotton candy, ice cream, candied apples and popcorn, while they are made right there. There will also be a display explaining the fermentation of apple cider.

In addition, there will be demonstrations about the cinema chemistry behind special effects seen in movies such as the “Harry Potter” series, with explanations on floo powder and magical sweets found in Honeydukes. Children will also be shown how to make their own “Gak” to take home.

For guests age 21 and older with ID, there will also be a wine tasting booth sponsored by a local vineyard, High Peaks Winery of Parishville.

Funded in part by an Innovative Project Grant from the American Chemical Society, SUNY Potsdam’s Chemtoberfest is sponsored by the College’s Department of Chemistry, PACES, the Student Government Association, the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program, the Biology Club, the Pre-Health Club, the Harry Potter Alliance and Gamma Sigma Epsilon, the chemistry honor society.

For more information about Chemtoberfest 2012, 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 in competitive graduate and professional schools.

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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.