The Chem Guys

John Eng and Wayne Lippa are "The Chem Guys".

Together, Eng and Lippa have been promoting chemistry in the community as The Chem Guys for a decade. Their goal is to displace the general public dislike of chemistry with a message that chemistry is fun.

Eng has a BSc in Biochemistry from Simon Fraser University and has been teaching chemistry at the U of L since January 1987. Lippa has a BSc/BEd degree from the U of L and has been teaching at the University since August 1997.

John and Wayne take their show to local schools and events in Southern Alberta, Showing that Chemistry and Science Can be fun, exciting and definitely not boring. Since February, 2010, the Chem Guys have performed 52 shows! They are available to drop in to schools with their traveling road show, and can be contacted at engj@uleth.ca.

Vision Statement

The Chem Guys, John Eng and Wayne Lippa of the University of Lethbridge Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, promote an interest in chemistry and science in the school system and to the general public.

Mission Statement

The Chem Guys deliver high-quality chemistry demonstration shows to a wide range of students at all levels of schooling (elementary, middle, high, and post-secondary) in order to increase their interest in and excitement about science, as well as doing public demonstrations to combat chemophobia.

Program Goals

Many schools in Lethbridge and the surrounding area don’t have the chemicals or the time to conduct experiments in their classes. These demonstrations provide students with an opportunity to “see” chemistry as opposed to just reading about it. Performing these demonstrations for high school students might get them thinking about attending the U of L after high school, and it might excite them about pursuing a career in the sciences. For elementary and middle school students, the demonstrations just plain excite them, and increase their interest in science that will hopefully carry through into their post-secondary years.

These demonstrations are also performed for the public (for example, when the Chem Guys opened for the Mythbusters and also for Bill Nye when they were on campus giving talks) in order to increase awareness about science and to combat the fear of chemicals and dislike of science that can be pervasive in the general public.

Program Objectives

  • To convince students at all levels of schooling that chemistry is fun.
  • To strengthen the ties between the university and the schools in the surrounding area.
  • To get high school students thinking about attending the U of L after high school.
  • To excite students about pursuing a career in chemistry and the sciences.
  • To increase public awareness about chemistry and combat chemophobia.

Highlights

October 28, 2016 | The Chem Guys Halloween show

The Chem Guys were on the road Oct. 28, 2018 to Our Lady of Assumption School in Lethbridge. They did a fun Halloween themed demonstration, which included explosions in pumpkins and bursting balloons filled with gas to the Monster Mash song!
(Photos from 2015 demonstration; by C. Reader & S. Hill) 
Studying Science   

  Safety First  
  Let there be light 

January 23, 2012 | The Chem Guys open for Bill Nye, The Science Guy at the U of L

The Students's Union at the U of L brought in Bill Nye, The Science Guy as a guest speaker. Bill Nye is a legendary science educator and television personality. He is most famous to many people for his tv show Bill Nye-the Science Guy. 100 episodes were filmed from 1993-1998. Many of the students in the audience had watched Bill's show in science classes—from elementary to high school. For complete review of the show, click here. For related news, click here.

February 6, 2010 | The “Chem Guys” were the opening act for “The Mythbusters” at the U of L

Wayne Lippa does his thing and lights a little fire. To find out more, click here.