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Wartburg College’s 13th annual Physics and Chemistry Demonstration Show offers science entertainment for all ages, with this year’s theme being smoke and mirrors.


Wartburg College’s 13th annual Physics and Chemistry Demonstration Show offers science entertainment for all ages, with this year’s theme being smoke and mirrors.

Dr. Christine DeVries is one of three faculty sponsors, and has been here just as long as the show itself, which began the first year she came to Wartburg.

“I met and was working with the physics professors, Dr. Ben Bousquet and Dr. Charlie Figura, and they were also interested in demos is the way we, blowing stuff up in chemistry is how we make chemists, right?” said Dr. DeVries. “And so that’s always kind of our teaching, and so we talked about we should do this with the students. We certainly go to demo shows, and most demo shows that you go to are run by the professors or graduate students, and ours is unique because it’s actually run by undergraduates.”

Approximately twenty students will be participating in the demo show this year. The show is made up of ten demos. Each demo is made up of two to three students in charge of the demonstration. Luke Grzech and Noah Meltz are two students involved, and will also be MC’ing the demo show.

Both Grzech and Melz have been MC’ing together for the past two years. Grezch was approached by Dr. DeVries once he mentioned that he had previous MC’ing experience. He later approached Melz to join him and create the MC’ing duo they are today. They both also have their own favorite things about MC’ing.

“I love writing the script, honestly,” said Grzech. “Kind of getting your jokes down, and having a wide array of jokes you can do, not just being limited to say specific demo but to being open to all demos, a little bit of every demo that shows up.

“I’ve always really liked the idea of kind of playing the fool,” said Melz. “We write like that a lot like we really don’t know what’s going on because half of the time, we really don’t. But we kind of joke with each other and like ask like ‘do you know what’s going on because I sure don’t.'”

There are still a bunch of similarities between this year’s show and last year’s, even with a theme change.

“Last year was fire and ice,” said DeVries. “And so this year, there’s still going to be fire because that’s just fun. You gotta make things explode. And there’s still frozen things, but there’s definitely that push toward things appearing or disappearing, things like a mirror appearing out of thin air.”

“There’s kind of this theme of magic, of smoke and mirrors, and so there’s some things where we use dry ice to make smoke,” said DeVries. “Some of the things are new. We’ve never done the tallen studs, the mirror-making in the demo show before, and then there’s some classics that we’re like, ‘I kind of like a flamethrower, I can never get enough flamethrower. Let’s bring that back.'”

“Our particular finale last year, the ping-pong balls that just go flying and fill the stage, we’re bringing that one right back because we nailed it last year,” said DeVries. “I want to see us have another great year of success with that one.”

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