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posted: 10/15/2013 12:39 PM

North Central College presents 'A Magical Chemistry Extravaganza'

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  • Award-winning chemistry teacher Jeff Hepburn presents "A Magical Chemistry Extravaganza" at North Central College on Thursday, Oct. 17.

    Award-winning chemistry teacher Jeff Hepburn presents "A Magical Chemistry Extravaganza" at North Central College on Thursday, Oct. 17.
    Courtesy of North Central College

By Nancy Dunker
North Central College

Teachers, students and budding scientists of all ages are invited to attend "A Magical Chemistry Extravaganza" by award-winning chemistry teacher Jeff Hepburn.

Hepburn takes the stage at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, in North Central College's Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville. The free program is co-hosted by North Central College's chemistry department and ChemWest, a nonprofit networking group for chemistry teachers.

A teacher for 31 years and semiprofessional magician, Hepburn incorporates both vocations in a presentation that generates a natural curiosity and interest in chemistry for everyone. He teaches honors, advanced placement and international baccalaureate chemistry at Central Academy, a public school for academically gifted students in Des Moines, Iowa.

His recent awards include the 2013 Irwin Talesnick Award for service to chemistry education in North America and the 2010 James Bryant Conant Award for High School Chemistry teaching from the American Chemical Society (ACS). He also was a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science and a Siemens Award state winner for AP teaching. He has received the ACS Midwest Regional Award, the Tandy Technology Scholar Award and the Distinguished Service Award from the Iowa Science Teaching Section for the Iowa Academy.

Hepburn is co-author of "Chemistry Demonstration Aids You Can Build," one of 16 authors of the new AP Chemistry Laboratory Manual, and author of "Chemistry Modules for the Iowa Chemistry Education Alliance" and "Chemistry Activities for Creighton University Demonstrations." He has written articles for the Journal of Chemical Education and Chem 13 News and Chemical and Engineering News magazines.

He earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Northern Iowa and a master's in science education from the University of Iowa.

The program is made possible by a Tellabs Foundation grant. Since 2011, North Central College and ChemWest have partnered with Tellabs Foundation to develop and share demonstrations and other practices to enhance the study of science for children in area elementary, middle and high schools.

For information about the event, contact Paul Brandt, North Central College professor of chemistry, at or (630) 637-5193.