October 23, between 6.02 am and 6:02 pm is National Mole Day. It’s a basic chemistry algorithm, not about those funny-looking creatures called moles. Instead, it commemorates chemistry’s measuring unit called “Avogadro’s Number”. The day is celebrated to bring awareness and create interest in the study of Chemistry. Schools around the USA celebrate the day by doing mole and chemistry-themed activities. In scientific terms, a mole is about the molar mass of a given molecule. A mole is a unit of measurement that reflects a chemical substance’s amount.
History of National Mole Day
National Mole Day commemorates the hypothesis of an Italian scientist named Amadeo Avogadro. Born in 1776, he was one of the noted founders of physical chemistry and was only really given his dues fifty years after his hypothesis was created and after his death. He is known for his theory called “Avogadro’s Law”, in which pressure and a fixed temperature equal volumes of gases that hold the same number of molecules.
A high school science teacher appeared in “The Science Teacher” in the 1980s, explaining her reasoning for wanting a National Mole Day. Maurice Oehler, a high school chemistry teacher, read this and was inspired. So he created National Mole Day. After this, on May 15, 1991, an organization called the National Mole Day Foundation (NMDF) was created. The foundation’s opening was announced through news releases to alert the media.
The idea was to gain members who were signed up for the foundation. These were students or those interested in chemistry, most likely teachers and chemists. The pictures would be collected from high school chemistry teachers, especially those who were members of the foundation and who celebrated National Mole Day, and those ideas would be assembled into a newsletter distributed to members of the foundation. By 1992, the foundation was no longer a foundation but a non-profit corporation in Wisconsin with a 9 personal board of directors.
The day also falls during National Chemistry Week and does a great job of fostering interest in Chemistry among students. The day also has a theme every year, starting in 1991 with “The Mole the Merrier”, 2001’s “Molar Odyssey”, and 2012’s “Animal Kingdom.” The day has also been called “Memorial Day.”
National Mole Day Timeline
Mole Life Insurance
Avogadro hypothesizes that an equal volume of hydrogen and nitrogen has the same number of molecules at the same temperature and pressure.
Delaware Science teacher Margaret Christoph writes about how she celebrates the invented holiday with her students every October through activities.
The Mole Nine Yards
Inspired by the 1985 article by Christoph, Chemistry teacher Maurice Oehler created National Mole Day.
This year’s theme was ‘molEvengers’, an ode to The Avengers superhero franchise.
National Mole Day Activities
- Learn about molecular science
- Avogadro’s number is complicated enough and may leave you scratching your head. Dive into his hypothesis by reading up on it and his life. Learn about his carelessness in the lab, lack of backup for his experiment results and why he was not more celebrated enough while he lived due to his strange and introverted ways.
- Create a mole story
- Calling all students, creativity is key on this holiday. Try writing a short play displaying your interpretation of National Mole Day. Write reports, compose poems or songs, and make sure you add in the mole jokes. There is a lot of mole humour online, don’t be shy. How many puns can you come up with while doing this experiment?
- Bake a mole
- Measure, estimate and problem solve. Make edible mole goodies like cookies, cakes, cupcakes or brownies. If you’re clever, use mole measurements like 1 mole of sugar etc. Remember, moles can be converted into grams.
5 Facts About Mole Day
- A group of moles is also called labour.
- Mole Model
- Avogadro’s number was set at 6.022*1023.
- Holey Moley
- A mole of smartphones is 6.02 x 1023 smartphones.
- The Mole the Merrier
- A mole of moles contains enough calories to feed the entire population of Earth.
- The United States national debt could be repaid 86 million times with one mole of cents.
Why We Love National Mole Day
- We’re getting creative
- This day allows us to flex our creativity by making mole-themed art, making a song about the mole or even making an innovative video good enough to upload to social media, where we can tag our projects on @nationalmoleday’s social media.
- We’re testing the hypothesis
- This day means testing Avogadro’s number by determining how much water is in one mole of water. How much aluminium foil do you need to make a 0.5-mole sculpture? Don’t stress yourself out too much. Check online to get the answers.
- It’s silly, fun
- Some hardcore National Mole Day fans celebrate by having breakfast at 6:02 am, and others bake large cakes, big enough to fit the periodic table. This day is educational as well as also silly, which we love.