Mrs. Usery’s Halloween Room

Rebekah Simmons, Staff Member

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Halloween is a special time of year over in the Science hallway. Mrs. Usery, an 11th-grade Chemistry teacher, has a fun Halloween tradition of putting on a spooky Science presentation for her students. Halloween themed experiments, like a dry ice color show, glow in the dark worms that ooze out of a beaker, and foam hands that gain their shape as students watch are all part of this special treat for her classes. 

Mrs. Usery had help from other science teachers in telling spooky stories that involved haunted woods, evil witches, and spooky mysteries. Mr. Daughty’s classroom was used for the festive science presentation. This year, for the first time, he participated in the activities. 

“It was super fun and I will definitely be joining in again next year,” Daughty said. 

Mr. Sherrod, dressed up as an old man character, read along with a written script and performed some of the experiments. The three teachers spent every class period moving around the dark classroom in costumes while acting out parts and explaining to the students about the experiments that they are doing.

Mrs. Usery got the idea for this seasonal tradition after attending a Science teacher convention about ten years ago where another teacher was doing Halloween like experiments with slime. 

“After seeing how easy and fun it could be, I had the idea to try and start doing something like that for my students every year on Halloween. It started out really small with one or two little things that I would do just with just my class and it gradually built up, year after year into what it is now,” Usery explained. 

One of the coolest parts of this year’s presentation was, the “Carved Pumpkin Spell” where Usery uses hydrogen peroxide, sodium iodide, and Dawn dish soap to make it look like a jack-o-lantern had slime coming out of its face. A “Witch’s Potion” was brewed using large beakers, vinegar, phenolphthalein solution, and colorless household ammonia. In another potion experiment, Usery turned what looks like just plain water into a light pink liquid, then back into the clear water, like substance again. 

It took Usery about two and a half weeks to set up the Halloween presentation and to write the script of events that lead up to the experiments. Teachers also spent time beforehand setting up decorations like black lights, pumpkins, and dry ice. There were even fake arms and legs hanging out of a trash can. Students had a great time watching the show and learn a few Chemistry facts along the way.