What’s your pH number?

Students with a keen interest in chemistry should visit our libraries

To celebrate National Science Week (August 11 to 19), our libraries are hosting a series of scientific workshops exploring pH and its effect on our everyday lives.

In chemistry, pH (potential of Hydrogen) is a measure of hydrogen ion concentration. It is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution on a scale of one to 14, with seven being neutral.

Children aged 12 and over are being asked to bring in samples from their kitchen tap, storm drain, nearby estuaries and creeks, dams and bores to test.

Cr Fran Mann said the workshops would open a door to the scientific wonder of how important the balance of alkaline and acid is to our bodies and our environment.

“Everything that lives in the world requires a delicate balance of pH to thrive,’’ she said.

“These workshops will provide a glimpse into what might tip that balance and teach children the role of science in ensuring we can retain an equilibrium.

“Mackay Water Laboratory staff will offer expert guidance through the experiment and discuss study pathways and careers in science.

Library staff will also teach participants how to document their research, an essential part of scientific work, with the results of the testing placed in a database that will be published on the Libraries website.

The workshops will begin at 3.30pm each afternoon at the following locations:

> Monday 13 August – Gordon White Library

> Tuesday 14 August – Sarina Library

> Wednesday 15 August – Mirani Library

> Thursday 16 August – Dudley Denny City Library

Places are limited, so bookings are essential. Go to mackay.qld.gov.au/libraries.

What is National Science Week?

National Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology and thousands of individuals take part in more than 1500 science events across the nation.  Science Week is designed for everyone – it’s not restricted to schools and universities. It provides an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of Australian scientists to the world. It also aims to encourage an interest in science pursuits, and to encourage younger people to become fascinated by the world we live in.