WATERVILLE — Colby College Chemistry Teacher Lisa Miller gave 17 Adventure Girls lab experience at the College Saturday, according to a press release. “I didn’t start out doing chemistry,” explained Miller. “I went to a really poor school and I never had the chance to do fun things like science or chemistry experiments when I was young,” according to the release.

But Miller made up for it and majored in chemistry in college because she knew it incorporated all the subjects she loved: math, science and reading.

Miller gave the two-hour lesson and hands-on demonstration to second- through sixth-grade girls from the Hardy Girls Healthy Women program, which exposed girls to women experts in male-dominated fields.

Participants worked in the chemistry lab with dry ice and supplies to make chemical reactions and foaming bubble displays. Second-grader Nadia Rosenberg of Topsham made her bubbles change colors and they grew so tall they overflowed the beaker.

“I didn’t know women could be chemists!” Rosenberg wrote on her post-session survey.

Miller took the girls outside the chemistry lab and demonstrated the affects of liquid nitrogen, a dangerously cold form of nitrogen used in labs and hospitals to quickly chill objects. They witnessed what happens when foods and everyday supplies are frozen quickly. Miller even poured it on the rug for the girls to see it quickly turn to gas.


“Mom! The floor is icy!” Kate Bourdon of Vassalboro laughed after rolling around on it. “That was cool!”

Miller topped off the day making liquid nitrogen ice cream for the girls to share. She described how food chemists test and try new flavors as part of their jobs.

Many of the girls took home protective eye glasses from the lab and a supply list to make some of the easier chemical reaction from home. “I think I can be chemist, too!” said Elise Clockodile, a second-grader from Gardiner. “Or a food chemist.”

Adventure Girls is a program of Hardy Girls Healthy Women, a nonprofit based in Waterville whose mission is to provide services, opportunities and programs to empower girls and women.

For more information, visit hghw.org/adventuregirls, or call 861-8131.

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