The ooze and ahhs of science at FLC

Science Open House - Fire and IceJoin Fort Lewis College for Science Open House, a free, public event designed to celebrate the wonders of science. Bring your questions and your curiosity to FLC on Saturday, April 9, 1 – 4 p.m. and join hundreds of local and regional families to see phantasmagorical demonstrations, from explosions to ooblek races to liquid nitrogen ice cream!


Saturday, April 9, 2022
Chemistry Hall Auditorium, Room 130
Shows starting at 1:00 and 3:00 PM

Watch Michael Grubb, assistant professor of Chemistry, demonstrate the behavior of substances at high and low temperatures:

  • Colored flames
  • Explosions
  • Liquid nitrogen
  • Floating superconductors
  • and more!


LIQUID NITROGEN ICE CREAM: Enjoy smooth ice cream made right in front of your eyes, at -320°F!

CHEMISTRY OF TASTE: Taste a variety of sugars, acids, salts, and proteins to gain an understanding of the types of molecules that we perceive as sweet, sour, salty, and savory. If you are brave enough, you can even try the bitterest substance in the world.

CHEMISTRY OF SMELL: Smell some of the molecules that give fruits and other plants their distinctive smells, plus learn how chemists identify these molecules through instrumentation.

CANNED HEAT: Synthesize your own flammable jelly (the substance within Sterno cans) from eggshells in one of our laboratories!

MAKE YOUR OWN PAINT PIGMENTS: Synthesize your own paint pigments from scrap metal and paint a picture!

LASER-INDUCED BREAKDOWN SPECTROSCOPY: Learn the atomic composition of matter by blowing it up with a laser!

RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY: Test the authenticity of gemstones, or test for the presence of explosives residue, by looking at how light scatters off a substance.

POLARIMETRY: See how sugars can be either right or left-handed, and how you can tell the difference using 3D glasses!

ACOUSTIC LEVITATION: Levitate small objects using only sound!

LEVITATING SUPERCONDUCTORS: Levitate superconductors, synthesized in the chemistry lab by FLC students, on a magnetic track!

BLACK FLAME: Can chemists make a black flame? Find out!

OOBLECK TRACK: Try to run across our 10-foot track of oobleck, a non-Newtonian fluid made of water and corn starch, without sinking!

BONES AND STONE: Do some prehistoric sleuthing and learn about hominins from the human family tree. What did they look like? How were they adapted to their environment? What can we learn about their lives and deaths from the fossils and tools they left behind? Learn how paleoanthropologists and archaeologists use clues to interpret the past in this hands-on experience!

DISSECTIONS: Eyeballs, plants, and more!

ANIMALS: Preserved and live animals (like snakes!)

DNA EXTRACTION: From fruits and vegetables! DISSECTIONS: Eyeballs, plants, and more!

ALL THINGS BACTERIA: Including some that glow in the dark!

GREENHOUSE/HERBARIUM TOURS: Learn about our plant collections!


Science Open House MapDIRECTIONS & PARKING

The Chemistry Hall and other science-related buildings are located on the southwest side of campus.

Parking is free on campus on weekends. Please download our map to see the recommended lots for accessing the science buildings.


FLC’s Science Open House began in Spring 2017 and features all science and engineering departments on campus. While the pandemic cancelled our 2020-2021 events, we are thrilled to be back, bigger and better than ever! This event is free and open to the public, showcasing engaging activities for kids of all ages.