Tie-Dye Party helps Chemistry Club raise money

Sofia RositaniReporter

The chemical reaction that comes with tie-dying is a whirlwind of colors — it can be a spiral, it can look like many blotches of color, and it can be an interesting look of just a blend of colors.

The Chemistry Club hosted a tie-dye event for students to raise money for their trip to Philadelphia for the American Chemical Society’s national meeting at expo. The Chemistry Club is attending the convention the week after spring break. The cost to tie-dye varied from three dollars to ten dollars. Students could tie-dye T-shirts, socks, pillowcases and anything else they wanted to bring in.

“These dyes are essentially filled with water and it’s a hydrolysis reaction and so what you do is the dye essentially reacts with the cotton within the shirt, the water leaves and the dye remain within the shirt,” said Rachel Kelsall, president of the Chemistry Club. “You let it sit for six to eight hours to kind of let that reaction proceed.”

Tie-dying is a part of chemistry which is a reason the club decided to host this event. Kelsall said.

Kelsall said there is a lot of chemistry in tie-dying, which relates with their club, as its motto is “chemistry is fun.”

“Using the appeal of vibrant colors accessed through tie-dying, There is a lot of chemistry in tie-dying. So, it kind of intertwines with our club. You know a motto is ‘chemistry is fun.’

“Chemistry is everywhere,” she said. “It’s all around us and so kind of showing a real-life application of chemistry gets people more engaged in the sciences and kind of a better understanding of a difficult concept.”

During the event the students who did tie-dye got to listen to 1960s music, including “Good Vibrations” and “Surfin’ USA” by The Beach Boys, as well as “Tequila” by The Champs.

Tie-dying became popular during the 1960s due to hippies who were protesting for peace during the Vietnam War. Hippies were known for using psychedelics, so the shirts were tie-dyed to look similar. During that time if someone wore a tie-dyed shirt, they essentially were fighting the power.

The convention that the chemistry club will be attending is national. Only 10 students from the club are going, with the possibility of one presentation by a Southern student.

According to Kesall, this convention will have scientists, chemists, physics from all over the country.

“[They are] meeting in Philadelphia to present their research, going to get to network, meet other people who have similar interests to you as far as research wise.” she said

Kelsall called the convention “a sort of meeting of the minds.”

Many of the students who attended the event are chemistry majors and will be attending the convention in Philadelphia, including bio-chemistry major, Aleah O’Brady, a freshman who ended up tie-dying a ripped-up lab coat for future uses.

“I am hoping that we would show people the type of reactions that you can make while also doing something fun, every color has a different reaction” O’Brady said.

Another person who attended the event was chemistry major Marvin Romero, a senior who was tie-dying a shirt using a multitude of colors such as blue, red and purple.

“What I am attempting to do is this double spiral shirt, we will see how it goes.”

Chemistry is something needed for the future, the world is always looking for new scientists. A popular topic is women in chemistry and Kelsall said did someone say this

“Being a woman in chemistry, myself we are definitely underrepresented in the sciences,” Kelsall said, “and so I think it is really important to show that this isn’t an unapproachable topic and that anyone can do it.”

Photo Credit: Roma Rositani

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