North Central cohosts “A Magical Chemistry Extravaganza” Oct. 17

Oct 08, 2013

North Central College invites area teachers, students and budding scientists of all ages to attend a free lecture and demonstration on Oct. 17 by award-winning chemistry teacher Jeff Hepburn.

Titled “A Magical Chemistry Extravaganza,” the free program will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, in North Central’s Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville. It is cohosted by North Central College’s chemistry department and ChemWest, a nonprofit networking group for chemistry teachers.

A teacher for 31 years and semi-professional magician, Hepburn incorporates both vocations in an exciting presentation that generates a natural curiosity and interest in chemistry for everyone. He teaches honors, advanced placement (AP) 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 coauthor of “Chemistry Demonstration Aids You Can Build,” one of 16 high school 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 & Engineering News magazines.

He earned his B.A. in chemistry from the University of Northern Iowa and an M.S. in science education from the University of Iowa.

This event 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. The partnership hosted Bob Becker in 2012 and Hepburn in 2013. 

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