Science Alive!

Science Alive 17

Sponsored by the St. Joseph County Public Library and traditionally held in its downtown branch, this annual winter event gives Notre Dame researchers and students the opportunity to share their knowledge of energy with the local community. ND Energy labs from across campus prepare enough hands-on activities and demonstrations to fill a room and teach children of all ages and their parents about energy-related topics and issues. For more information or to get involved, contact Anne Berges Pillai. See a summary of past events at Science Alive Recaps.

2022 Science Alive


The 30th Annual Science Alive was held on Saturday, May 21 from 1-4 p.m. at the St. Joseph County Public Library (Downtown South Bend Main Branch) and featured interactive exhibits and awesome activities with local science-related organizations. ND Energy and Notre Dame research labs from several departments participated with hands-on activities and demonstrations about energy! View the recap here.

2021 Virtual Science Alive


Last year's event was a month-long virtual celebration in February with access to a virtual exhibitors' page for activities, videos, and experiments for all ages and live, virtual presentations by partner institutions. Details of the event can be viewed at: St. Joseph County Public Library Science Alive 2021. Below are videotaped demonstrations and activities provided by ND Energy research labs.

Curds and Whey- How and Why Do Scientists Separate Materials?

Most of the things we see around us are made up of mixtures of different substances. Learn how to separate milk solids and liquids in addition to the role that catalysts can play in separations. Adult supervision is recommended for this activity. (12:12 min) Thank you to Notre Dame graduate student Neha Mehra from the lab of Prof. William Schneider and the CISTAR NSF Engineering Research Center for creating this video.

Solar Water Splitting

This experiment demonstrates how energy from the sun can be used to create an electrical current that splits water into oxygen and hydrogen. Hydrogen can be used as a clean fuel source. Some adult assistance may be needed. (4:28 min) Thank you to Notre Dame graduate student Jeffrey DuBose from the lab of Prof. Prashant Kamat for providing this video.

Cool Chemical Reactions: Oxidation-Reduction

Watch some cool chemistry demonstrations that result in color change and glow-in-the-dark reactions while learning about energy’s role in oxidation-reduction reactions. (5:59 min) Thank you to Notre Dame graduate students Madeline Riffel and Keaton Prather and other members from the lab of Prof. Emily Tsui for inviting us into their lab.

Growing Uranium Crystals

Visit the Actinide lab at Notre Dame and watch two scientists make uranium crystals. They will use a special instrument to learn more about the structure. (3:32 min) Thank you to graduate students Ashley Hastings, Sam Perry, and Aliya Whitehill from the labs of Prof. Peter Burns and Prof. Amy Hixon for creating this video.

What Is Plasma?

Visit a Notre Dame research lab to see a plasma globe and watch a scientist produce the colored glow associated with plasma. (2:52 min) Thank you to undergraduate student Ibu Akintola and graduate student Daniel Martin from the lab of Prof. David Go for explaining plasma, and to Multimedia Production Specialist Wes Evard for producing the video.