RALEIGH — From native spiders and exotic scorpions to common milkweed bugs and beetles. Where else can you learn the difference between poison and venom as you meet bugs that employ each of these chemical defenses? Join in the fun and discover that chemistry is cool as the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the American Chemical Society concoct a day full of awesome chemistry experiments, exhibits and special presentations on Saturday, October 13, 9 am–4 pm. Free.
This annual event is fun for all ages but particularly aims to inform aspiring young scientists about careers in chemistry and local opportunities to get involved with others who share their interests. This year’s event highlights nanotechnology — the science of building machines at a subatomic level. Featured exhibits include “Nature-inspired Nanomaterials,” “Fun with Dry Ice,” “The Essence of Luminescence,” “Invertebrate Venom and Chemical Defenses,” “Microfluidics: Making Science Small” and “Green Chemistry.”
Daily Planet Theater presentations include “Good Chemistry Breaking Bad,” a discussion about how legitimate research chemicals designed in university laboratories were taken by the illicit drug industry to make synthetic marijuana, “bath salts” and other designer drugs; and “Thermochromism,” a closer look at how things like T-shirts, beer bottle labels and CD boxed sets change color in response to light or temperature. Or you can learn more about “States of Matter” with William Switzer of the NC Chapter of American Chemical Society at 11:30 am, 1 and 2:30 pm in Windows on the World Theater.
Chemistry Day  is held in honor of the 25th anniversary of National Chemistry Week. For more information about the event, contact the Museum at 919.707.9890.
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, located at 11 West Jones Street in downtown Raleigh, documents and interprets the natural history of the state of through exhibits, research, collections, publications and educational programming. Visit us online at naturalsciences.org. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9am–5pm and Sunday, 12–5pm. General admission is free. The Museum is an agency of the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary.