Chemical Reactions Club


The new Chemical Reactions Club, founded by Claudia Dicker ’23 and Shira Shasha ’23, gives students the opportunity to explore the field of chemistry beyond the classroom. Every week, the founders, with the help of the club’s faculty advisor, chemistry teacher, Rabbi Blaustein, prepare a unique and interactive chemical reaction for students to explore. The club focuses on combustion reactions, which are some of Dicker and Shasha’s favorite reactions to do. A combustion reaction is a reaction that must involve oxygen as a reactant and releases energy in the form of light and heat. Dicker and Shasha were so fascinated by the topic of combustion when it was first introduced in chemistry class, that they begged Rabbi Blaustien to incorporate more combustion experiments into class.  When Rabbi Blaustein jokingly responded “so make a club for it,” Dicker and Shasha knew that this was their mission. Immediately after class, the two began laying the groundwork for the new Chemical Reactions Club. 

Although forming new clubs is often difficult, Shasha explains that she and Dicker had a smooth journey. The two received the green light from Dov and enlisted Rabbi Blaustien as the club’s supervisor. In an effort to come up with innovative reactions, Shasha followed a chemistry Tik Tok account, which has since inspired her and Dicker. A few experiments that the club has performed include: inflating balloons with baking soda and vinegar, and making homemade alka-seltzer lava lamps. The club chairs creators found ways to use Zoom in a creative manner, including pre-recorded reactions performed with Rabbi Blaustein. For example, they created “elephant’s toothpaste” — a huge foamy substance caused by the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. They also created a combustion reaction using potassium chlorate and a piece of candy. 

Dicker explained that although the club has not yet received approval to host any in-person meetings, she and Shasha remain hopeful that soon the club will soon meet live, allowing students to fully engage in chemical reactions. The pair have a bunch of new ideas in store, including fire-filled combustion reactions, so stay tuned and check out the Chemical Reactions Club!