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Behind the Scenes: First Fridays at CHF

On the First Friday of the month, CHF’s museum joins other Old City Philadelphia galleries, museums, and shops in hosting a community-wide open house. Extended hours make it possible for many of our neighbors to make their way to the museum, where we offer a different program every month featuring guest speakers, hands-on activities, and much more to bring our exhibits to life.

July's First Friday is always a big event, as visitors flock to our location just down the street from Independence Hall for various Independence Day activities. More than 300 folks joined us this year for “Stars, Stripes, and Science,” an all-ages science fair.

Chemist Tom Twardowski’s demonstrations feature all the smoke, flash, and bangs a chemistry enthusiast could ever want…

…much to the pleasure of onlookers.

Mütter Museum director Robert Hicks, dressed in a Union officer’s uniform from the Civil War, passed a visitor a bottle of medicine from that time period.

CHF staff members Rosie Cook and Sarah Reisert lead a rainbow of color experiments and activities, including make-your-own tie dye and lava lamps.

Young visitors create pictures that will become their tie-dyed pieces. This process uses markers and isopropyl alcohol and is considerably less involved, messy, and time-consuming than traditional tie-dye.

Step two in making the tie-dye. (See how un-messy this is?)

…and voila! Your very own tie-dye in under five minutes!

This month, Tom Twardowski will return to teach visitors about the chemistry of soapmaking—how it’s done today and how it used to be done in days of old—and help visitors make their own soap to take home. Please join us if you’re in the area!

Gigi Naglak is CHF's outreach coordinator. 

Related:
Making Modernity: A Gallery Preview [Chemical Heritage]
Episode 114: Elements of Expression [Distillations]

Posted In: Education

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