Chemistry Camp is an annual, half-day fundraising event held at the UVA Chemistry department. Kids K-5 are sorted into groups which rotate between four labs, performing hands-on experiments with a graduate student and their assistant according to a themed lesson. Once all groups have rotated through the labs, a demonstration show is performed for both the parents and the kids which features visually exciting chemical reactions. The event is planned and coordinated by LEAD's Vice President. LEAD volunteers can either plan lessons, assist the lesson planners, chaperone groups of kids, or take part in the demonstration show. Other LEAD officers assist according to their normal role.
School visits are the most frequent outreach event performed by LEAD throughout the year. LEAD members, typically in pairs, will spend approximately three hours in a classroom performing a designated lesson. Volunteers explain fundamental concepts in science then perform short demonstrations and assist with a few hands on experiments with the class. All materials for the lesson are prepared by the volunteers ahead of time and transported to the classroom. These lessons can be adapted depending upon the number of kids and their age group.
In collaboration with the Virginia Discovery Museum, a designated LEAD Head Coordinator visits on a monthly basis with 2-3 volunteers to perform a designated lesson. Volunteers explain fundamental concepts in science then perform short demonstrations and assist with a few hands on experiments. After the lesson, volunteers may spend time exploring the museum exhibits one-on-one with the kids. All materials for the lesson are prepared in advance by the volunteers and transported to the Discovery Museum. These lessons can be adapted depending upon the number of kids and their age group.
KidVention is an annual, half-day event held in February by the Virginia Discovery Museum. Diverse groups, both from various departments with UVA as well as Charlottesville's local community, set up interactive booths for families to explore. A minimum of four LEAD volunteers attend in pairs for two shifts - either setting up the booth in the morning or cleaning up the exhibit in the afternoon. Volunteers engage with kids one-on-one to perform a themed experiment while explaining fundamental science concepts. This event also provides LEAD the opportunity to introduce families to Chemistry Camp and help register interested participants.