October 19, 2008

A Science Sandwich Inside a Snowboard?

Kids everywhere have a ball playing sports. Few of them, however, are aware of the amazing science behind the sports they love. In fact, every kick of a soccer ball or swing of a bat is an experiment.

In time for National Chemistry Week (Oct. 19-25), Rohm and Haas Company and The Franklin Institute teamed up to produce a set of seven videos that hit on this year's theme -- "Having a Ball with Chemistry" -- explaining how science has impacted a variety of kids' favorite sports, like bicycling, snowboarding, hockey, and basketball.

Not only does the combination of physics, chemistry and materials science enable participants' abilities to be that much better, but they make the sporting experience safer for participants. Take snowboarding for example: To reduce weight and stiffness, board makers layer sophisticated materials around a smaller wooden core to make a "science sandwich" held together with acrylic epoxy adhesives, themselves the product of chemistry research.

These two-minute videos will be available beginning October 19 at go.rohmhaas.com/havingaball The videos are a fun, educational tool for schoolchildren through middle school, teachers, and parents alike.

Also during National Chemistry Week, Rohm and Haas will announce the winners of its national poster contest, in which schoolchildren were invited to submit posters displaying why they love the sports they play. Research chemist Dr. Mario Mirabelli will also demystify the winners' favorite sports: rollerblading, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer and softball.

About National Chemistry Week

National Chemistry Week is a community based program of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The annual event, in its 21st year, unites ACS local sections, businesses, schools, and individuals in communicating the importance of chemistry to our quality of life. The mission of National Chemistry Week is to reach the public, particularly elementary school children, with positive messages about chemistry.

Thousands of volunteers from local ACS sections across the country conduct hands-on science activities in their communities, with a focus on elementary and secondary school children. Chemists, chemical engineers, teachers, and students volunteer their time, energy, and expertise to present chemistry demonstrations, and also put together contests for children, conduct workshops, visit classrooms, and host open houses. These programs and activities have been held in venues as diverse as science museums, shopping malls, hospitals, libraries, classrooms, and chemical companies. For more information, visit www.acs.org.

About Rohm and Haas Company

Leading the way since 1909, Rohm and Haas is a global pioneer in the creation and development of innovative technologies and solutions for the specialty materials industry. The company's technologies are found in a wide range of industries including: Building and Construction, Electronics and Electronic Devices, Household Goods and Personal Care, Packaging and Paper, Transportation, Pharmaceutical and Medical, Water, Food and Food Related, and Industrial Process. Innovative Rohm and Haas technologies and solutions help to improve life every day, around the world. Based in Philadelphia, Pa., the company generated annual sales of approximately $8.9 billion in 2007. Visit www.rohmhaas.com for more information. imagine the possibilities(TM)

About The Franklin

Founded in honor of America's first scientist, Benjamin Franklin, The Franklin Institute is a renowned and innovative leader in the field of science and technology learning, as well as a dynamic center of activity. It is dedicated to creating a passion for science by offering new and exciting access to science and technology in ways that would dazzle and delight its namesake. For more information, please visit www.fi.edu.