Chemistry Students Take On 'Science on a Saturday'

Danielle Randall
March 10, 2017

On Saturday, March 4, several Chemistry students volunteered their time to participate in Science on a Saturday, a free, weekly, 60-minute presentation of entertaining scientific demonstrations and hands-on activities open to local elementary, middle, and high school students. This event is produced by MIT alumnus, Dr. Todd H. Rider and sponsored by the MIT Museum and the Akamai Foundation.

Dr. Rider is the founder of The RIDER Institute, which is dedicated to Revolutionary Innovation, Development, Education, and Research. Dr. Rider received his Ph.D. from MIT, and his research has been featured in magazines ranging from Science to Time and on TV programs from NBC’s Nightly News to BBC’s Horizon. He invented and developed the DRACO broad-spectrum antiviral therapeutics and demonstrated that they are safe and effective against 18 different viruses in cells and 4 viruses in mice in initial experiments. He also invented the CANARY sensor, which uses genetically engineered white blood cells to rapidly identify bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. In other areas of research, he discovered fundamental physical limitations on nuclear fusion reactors, analyzed antimatter rocket engines, and demonstrated methods to combine numerous laser beams to form more powerful laser beams. He created and runs the Science on Saturday program at MIT and has over 25 years of experience teaching students at all levels.

The Chemistry students hosted approximately 1000 people at their iteration of the event, in spite of bitterly cold weather. The stage show and demonstrations tables were a huge success among the attendees - a true testament to the students' hard work and commitment to making this a truly memorable morning of Science!



Chemistry students assist young scientists in making marshmallow molecules.



A young volunteer helps Chemistry students give an onstage demonstration in Kresge Auditorium.


Science on a Saturday attendees line up to participate in a Chemistry demonstration table.