Mole handwarmers

My chem club made mole handwarmers. First I printed the mole pattern — see below, or use the PDF located at the Associated Chemistry Teachers of Texas, ACT2 website. I printed the online PDF at 70%. Next cut out two sides in brown fleece. I stitched the pieces together, but left a hole. The students filled the mole with rice and hand stitched it shut. To warm: microwave for 25 seconds.  Nice warm mole for your hand.

The following are instruction given with the pattern, if you just want to make a stuffed mole.

  1. From gray-colored fuzzy or furry fabric, trace and cut two mole sides and one mole bottom using the patterns below. Reverse the pattern when tracing and cutting out the second side so that the fuzzy side will be on the outside of the completed mole. From pink-coloured felt fabric, trace and cut one mole nose and four mole paws using the patterns in the lower right corner of the page.
  2. Working from the inside and towards the tail area, sew the pieces of fabric together leaving a 3/8” seam all around. When reaching the tail area, turn the mole inside out, stuff with cotton batting, and hand stitch the tail opening.
  3. Glue or stitch the nose and paws in the appropriate areas and dress your mole in a creative fashion, i.e., athlete, cheerleader, for the lab, as a professional in the community, etc.
  4. Enjoy your new found friend!

Mole day celebrations

Classroom of students.

Jeanne Honsberger, teacher at Port Credit Secondary School, Mississauga ON sent in this photo of their Mole Day.

Man and woman holding ‘Mole Day’ quilt.

Sarah (Toman) Kong and her husband Jason Kong are pictured with a quilt made out of Mole Day T-shirts — made by a student’s mother at Sarah’s school, Western Michigan Christian High School. Sarah was Mole of the Year in 2009. You don’t have to ask why Sarah won this award when you look at this photo. Barbara Toman took the photo.

Papier-mâché moles

Papier-mâché moles in historical outfits.

Papier-mâché moles.


These pictures were sent in by Tina Turner at Notre Dame College School, Welland ON. Creating themed papier-mâché moles is one of the events her students could select from. Pictured above are "Les Moleserables" and "Seinmole".

Halloween ideas: Marshmallows and baby zombies in a vacuum

When studying the gas laws, you can demonstrate Boyle's Law (the effect of pressure on the volume of a gas) using a vacuum pump, marshmallows and an “evil zombie doll”.

Decreasing the pressure around the gas pockets in the marshmallows or the red-coloured shaving cream in the zombie doll will cause the gas pockets to expand. The marshmallows inflate and the zombie doll's “blood” expands out of its orifices.

When the vacuum is shut off and the pressure allowed to quickly re-enter the bell jar, the expanded gas bubbles implode. The marsh-mallows are reduced to a size less than their original volume (providing a unique textural taste for the students to eat) and the zombie doll is freed from its life of seeking brains for nourishment.

Although the zombie doll demo is somewhat gruesome, it is one of the most memorable demonstrations for grade 11 students.

[Teachers can use a small amount of shaving cream on a watch glass and have a similarly cool but non-gruesome effect as the zombie doll demonstration. If you do not have a bell jar, then there are plenty of videos online. For example, KentChemistry has a great video. Of course, like most demonstrations, it  is always better for the student to see it “live”.

As with any demonstration, consider the safety when working under low pressure and with glasswear. McGill University has good information about working with a vacuum.]

Marshmallows in vacuum.Normal marshmallows.

Marshmallow baby in vacuum.Shaving-cream-filled zombie doll.


Expanding marshmallows in vacuum 2.Marshmallows in reduced pressure — under vacuum.

Expanded marshmallows in vacuum.Zombie doll in reduced pressure — under vacuum.


Marshmallows in vacuum shrunk.Marshmallows when the vacuum is shut off.

Vacuum imploded marshmallow.Zombie doll when the vacuum is shut off.