Halloween House 2015

The UNI Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS), in collaboration with students from the Departments of Biology, Physics, and Earth Science, will be hosting a “Halloween House” Friday, October 23rd, 4:30-7:30 PM, on the second floor of McCollum Science Hall.  UNI students will be performing Halloween-themed science demonstrations and supervising hands-on activities in rooms such as the “Devil’s Den”, “Frankenstein’s Lab”, “Skeleton Graveyard”, and “Underground Mysteries”.

This event is free and open to the public.  Costumes are welcome.  The activities are intended for elementary age children, but can be enjoyed by children of all ages.

Halloween House is held in conjunction with National Chemistry Week and is a program of the ACS designed to reach the public with a positive message about chemistry.  With the inclusion of additional student organizations this event has grown to encompass an exciting range of STEM activities.

Halloween House is organized by the following UNI science clubs:

  • UNI Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society
  • Delta Iota Chapter of the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society
  • UNI Physics Club
  • Gamma Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Epsilon Earth Science Honor Society

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Is this event scary?

This event is not a haunted house and none of the activities are intended to be scary.  However, very young children may be frightened by some of the Halloween elements (students in costume, Halloween decorations, etc.).

  • Is my child too young to attend this event?

This event was planned with elementary age children in mind, although we frequently have guests outside of this age range.  Older children will still enjoy the science demonstrations while younger children may wish to spend more time on the educational craft projects or at the table serving liquid nitrogen ice cream!  However, the chemical demonstration shows may be inappropriate for very young children (especially infants), as there are reactions that create a loud “bang” and a flash of light that can be startling.  (The audience is warned before each of these demonstrations.)

  • Is this an educational event?

Halloween House is meant to be a fun introduction to science.  The activities and demonstrations are entertaining in addition to incorporating educational components.

  • Why do some of the rooms have specific show times while others don’t?

Three of the demonstration rooms have specific show times, running at half hour intervals, while the five remaining rooms for demonstrations or hands-on activities will be continuously open.  The chemical demonstrations require a substantial amount of planning in order to have enough of each reagent prepared, so it is practical to have a set number of shows.  Having specific show times for these demonstrations is also useful for maintaining crowd control and ensuring the safety of our guests.

Halloween House 2014 in the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier:

Halloween House 2014 in the Northern Iowan:


The students and faculty of the department are proud of our successful work together. Each year we send 10-15 students to present their research at the spring American Chemical Society meeting. Our students applying to medical school have been extraordinarily successful. We are also pleased to have internship opportunities with industrial partners in the region and around the country. Feel free to contact us with question or to arrange a visit to campus.





Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Northern Iowa
1227 West 27th Street
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0423
Phone: 319-273-2437
FAX: 319-273-7127
E-mail: barbara.reid@uni.edu
Web: http://www.chem.uni.edu

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