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Project Chemistree

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! What better way to celebrate than with a giant, lab-equipment Christmas tree!?

As early as the 1940’s, labs across the globe have celebrated Christmas by making their everyday flasks, rubber tubes and clamps into a brightly coloured “tree”. Usually they’re only about half a metre tall: the size of the average stand you find in most labs. Here at Science Space we like to push the boundaries a little.

Enter Project Chemistree.

For the past month or so, we’ve been buried deep in designing, building and filling our very own, bespoke galvanised steel Christmas tree. Academics from the University of Wollongong’s School of Chemistry have very kindly donated their time, knowledge and laboratory space to us. Through this project we’re going to be able to show you what it’s like to be a Chemist and just a few of the incredible projects the researchers at the University of Wollongong are working on.

From cheap and efficient batteries to cancer treatments and protein molecules, come down to Science Space and check out Project Chemistree!

You can read more about each of the flasks here:

Flask #1: Golden Rain

Flask #2: Chemical Garden

Flask #3: Prussian Blue

Flask #4: Rhodamine 6G

Flask #5: Ferredoxin

Flask #6: Methylene Blue

Flask #7: Bispirin

Flask #8: Coelenterazine

Flask #9: Aluminium Chloride

Flasks #10/11: Indigo

Acknowledgements:

This project would have been absolutely impossible without the help of these people.

First, Ms Merrilyn McKee for donating her time and helping in the building of the tree. You can see her in a few of the DIY posts.

Science Space Technical Manager Mr Wayne Elton for his invaluable advice and help making this idea come to life.

Professor Stephen Ralph of the School of Chemistry for his backing and recruiting the academics in his department.

Mr Nathan Riggir from the UOW Maker Space for 3D printing tags and molecules for the tree.

Ms Molly Kirkpatrick for designing the tags for the tree.

Science Space Director Stuart Creal for all of his support.

Our Media and Comms team for their work promoting the tree.

Ms Roza Dimeska and Mr Roger Kanziz for letting me raid the teaching labs for glassware and clamps.

And finally all of the academics involved in the project! Thanks for being up for communicating your work and letting me stick a camera in your face. You’re all amazing!