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Scarsdale High School Class Celebrates The Mole

SCARSDALE, N.Y. - Happy belated Mole Day.

If you missed it you are not alone. In fact, most people were likely unaware the day exists. But that was not the case at Scarsdale High School, where chemistry classes marked the special day with a breakfast, demonstrations the creation of stuffed moles.

In this case, the mole that is being celebrated is the term for the measurable number of particles, such as atoms, ions, or molecules (hence "mole"). It refers to the number of "packages" of these particles, chemistry teacher Elise Hilf Levine said.

A mole, or Avogradro's number (referring to early 19th-century Italian scientist Amedeo Avogadro) is 6.02 x 10 to the 23rd power.

The National Mole Day Foundation began 20 years ago, Levine said. "Calculating that number is not fun," she said. "It's like measuring ingredients when you are cooking is not fun. The fun part is eating the chocolate chip cookies. "

So a group of chemistry teachers attending summer workshops funded by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation came up with the idea of celebrating the mole, and it caught on. Now, celebrating the mole is done for fun and extra credit.

Displaying the student-created moles in her classroom, Levine pointed out that the math calculation is a nuisance, just like the furry little creatures. "But this is fun."

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