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Friday Hands on Science

Hello parents! This Friday at Hands On Science, we kicked off our monthly theme for the month of October, which is centered around "Chemistry of Special Effects." We will be spending each week this month talking about a chemical principle behind special effects on the screen. During World War 2, this chemical, which was invented just a few decades earlier, began being used as a tracer dye to spot downed pilots in the ocean. Post-war, this fluorescent dye began to be used for office stationery - highlighters! Unlike most dyes, which function through color subtraction (i.e. things appear a certain color because they absorb a certain wavelength of light), fluorescein and other fluorophores absorb one wavelength of light and emit a different wavelength, giving them a characteristic high-intensity color hue when exposed to the right excitation wavelength. This week, our students analyzed the fluorescent properties of fluorescein and built our own observation chambers, using a long wave UV light as the light source. Want to read more about fluorescein? Check out this podcast:

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