RAHWAY—On Oct. 23, students taking chemistry at Rahway High School participated in the national celebration of Mole Day. Student projects included research and creative mole writing as part of the school’s National Day of Writing. They also made celebratory posters for the Mole Slam in the week following Mole Day.
What is Mole Day and how does it relate to chemistry? Every Oct. 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m., Mole Day is celebrated to foster interest in chemistry and remind students of the importance of the mole as one of seven basic measuring units in the metric system, unique to chemistry.
The mole is defined by Avogadro’s Number (6.02 x 10^23). For a given molecule, one mole is a mass (in grams) whose number is equal to the atomic mass of the molecule. For example, the water molecule has an atomic mass of 18, therefore one mole of water weighs 18 grams. An atom of neon has an atomic mass of 20, therefore one mole of neon weighs 20 grams.
In general, one mole of any substance contains Avogadro’s Number of molecules or atoms of that substance. This relationship was first discovered by Amadeo Avogadro (1776-1858) and he received credit for this after his death. To learn more, visit the Mole Site, www.moleday.org.
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