Science 2 mins read

Happy Mole Day! 3 Things you Should Know About This Geek Holiday

shockfactor.de | Shutterstock.com

shockfactor.de | Shutterstock.com

Mole Day is a holiday for chemists of all ages. The date commemorates Avogadro’s Number (6.02 x 1023), which is why the holiday is celebrated on October 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m.

The day has become an international favorite among chemistry students and teachers alike (Happy Birthday, Mr. Maderer!), but here are 3 things you may not know about this geek holiday: 

1. What is Avogadro’s number?

Avogadro’s number, represented as 6.02 x 10^23, is the number of molecules or atoms in one mole of any substance. First proposed by early 19th-century chemist Amedeo Avogadro, one mole of a molecule is the mass of that molecule in grams and is equivalent to the molar mass of the same molecule.

Thus, one mole of water weighs 18 grams because a molecule of water has a molar mass of 18 grams.

2. Why was the day Invented?

High School Chemistry teacher Mr. Maurice Oehler, now retired, is credited with creating the holiday in the 1980s to get his students and the public interested in chemistry.

3. There is a Mole Award

The biennial Mole of the Year prize is presented during the annual ChemEd Conference and is awarded to given to the member of the National Mole Day Foundation who has made the greatest contribution to Oehler’s goal in inventing the holiday: promoting chemistry education.

If you think you or someone special you know has made an outstanding contribution not only to the field of chemistry but also to promoting chemistry education and Mole Day, put together a MOTY application!

Applications must be postmarked by May 1st.

In addition to a gorgeous plaque, winners receive a whole molehill of prizes including a free one-year membership to the Foundation, a cash award and a free Mole Day breakfast at the ChemEd conference.

 

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