October 23 between 6.02 am and 6:02pm is National Mole Day. It’s a basic chemistry algorithm, and not about those funny looking creatures called moles. It commemorates chemistry’s measuring unit called “Avogadro’s Number”. The day is celebrated as a means to bring awareness and create interest in the study of Chemistry. The day is celebrated by schools around the USA by doing mole and chemistry themed activities. In scientific terms, a mole is in relation to the molar mass of a given molecule. A mole is literally a unit of measurement to reflect an amount of a chemical substance.
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 hypothesis called ‘‘Avogadro’s Law’’ in which pressure and a fixed temperature, equals volumes of gases which hold the same number of molecules.
A high school science teacher appeared in “The Science Teacher” in the 1980’s explaining her reasoning for wanting a National Mole Day. Maurice Oehler, a high school chemistry teacher read this and was inspired. 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 to the foundation. These were usually students or simply those with an interest in chemistry, teachers and chemists most likely. Then ideas 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 which would be distributed to members of the foundation. By 1992, the foundation was no longer a foundation but rather a non-profit corporation in Wisconsin with a 9 person board of directors.
The day also falls during National Chemistry Week and does a great job of fostering interest in Chemistry amongst students. The day also has a theme every year starting in 1991 with ‘‘The Mole the Merrier’’, 2001’s ‘‘Molar Odyssey’’ and 2012’s ‘‘Animole Kingdom.’’ The day has also been called ‘‘Molemorial Day.’’