Energy and U eclipses 100,000 student milestone

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (06/09/2023) – It’s official: more than 100,000 students in the Twin Cities metro area have engaged with chemistry through the biannual Energy and U program. With the completion of the May 2023 series, the interactive show – which teaches third, fourth, and fifth graders about the First Law of Thermodynamics – surpassed this major education milestone. 

Energy and U encourages elementary students to get excited about chemistry through an hour-long program filled with electrifying explosions, on-stage volunteer opportunities, and dynamic dance breaks. In 2023 the 30 performances of the show served 9,260 students between the ages of 8 and 12. Two of the events were presented in Spanish for Twin Cities Spanish immersion schools. Last month’s production involved nearly 100 students, faculty, and staff from the Departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Theater Arts and Dance (TAD). Jessica Lamb, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, presented at Energy and U for the first time.

“Energy and U was so fun! It’s awesome to feel the kids’ energy as they cheer on all the explosions. For me, it was really cool to be back in a theatre environment and working with the great crew from TAD; everyone did a great job and made my part as easy as possible,” Jessica said about her first presenter experience.

Energy and U is supported by the National Science Foundation, UMN Departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, and Theater Arts and Dance, and by Medtronic and 3M Corporations.

Jessica Lamb stands on stage with a student, pointing to a balloon.
A bright yellow and orange explosion shoots off sparks on a darkened theater stage.