Moles once again invade Tupelo

Aaron Kwag, Staff Writer, The Hi-Times

Many may know moles as little animals with dark fur that dig underground. In chemistry, however, a mole is a unit that equals 6.02×10^23.

The mole originated from Italian chemist Amedeo Avogadro in 1811, when he published “Avogadro’s Hypothesis.”

The purpose of the mole unit was to use a method to convert from atoms and molecules to grams or weight. Moles, therefore, are constantly used in chemistry as it is an integral part of it. In addition, it allows the weighing out of substances like iron and sulfur. The mole even coined the term “a chemist’s dozen” as to show its frequent use in chemistry.  

As moles became more oftenly used in chemistry classes and other fields of chemistry, moles eventually caused a holiday to promote a special day for chemistry.

For chemistry classes at Tupelo High School, there comes Mole Day, a day in which Avogadro’s discovery of the mole is celebrated.

Along with many other schools, Mole Day has been an ongoing tradition in THS for many years.  

“I would say probably around 14 or 15 years Mole Day has been in Tupelo High School,” chemistry teacher Monica Rowe said.  

The Mole Day tradition, of course, was also started by someone a long time ago.

“A lady by the name of Dee Cooper started Mole Day at Tupelo High School,” Rowe said. “Mole Day is a national holiday for chemistry students. The number is actually six point zero two times 10 to the 23rd, so 10 to the 23rd is why we do it at 10/23, and we start at 6:02 in the morning.”

The reason behind the exact times of Mole Day directly relates to its actual value. It occurs from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m. because the numbers comes from the beginning of the unit which is 6.02. Furthermore, it is on Oct. 23 because the 10 represents the month and the exponent 23 represents the day it is occurred on.  

Instead of a single Mole Day only on Oct. 23 during the first semester, THS celebrates mole day in the 2nd semester by changing up a few things with the dating.

Oct. 23 is actual mole day for 1st semester. For second semester we have to do it a little differently because of the dating,” Rowe said

Mole Day isn’t a day in which students sit in a classroom and learn about the mole and its application in chemistry. Instead, students have the opportunity to interact in many different activities that do not require sitting down and listening to a lecture about Avogadro and his discovery of the mole.

We encourage the kids to come up with unique ways to come up and remember things about the mole and factual information around about what the mole is in chemistry. They might write poems, they might make up a rap, and they might sing a song,” Rowe said. “They may have some activities where they actually relate to the concept.”

Now that Mole Day has passed for the first semester, THS can expect the same to happen for the moles, digging underground then rising up to the surface for Mole Day in the spring for chemistry students.