Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
Typically, there are two types of kids who get chemistry sets.
The first type look at it, play with it for a while and move on to something else. The second type take to it like a fish to water, going around the house mixing household items, trying to see what will explode.
Paul Zelisko was always the second type of kid.
Growing up in his native Oshawa, one of his favourite childhood gifts was his chemistry set.
“Back then, they were real chemistry sets with real chemicals in them,” he said. “These were kits you could actually do damage with.”
He recalls setting off a few fire alarms. He liked growing crystals, or dissolving sugar crystals on pie plates. “I liked being able to watch things happen.”
These days, as a senior demonstrator in Brock’s Chemistry department, Zelisko still feels the joy of chemistry. He makes several presentations a year at schools spreading the love of chemistry. He is also on the national committee celebrating 2011 — the International Year of Chemistry.