Tourists marvel at it, but Chicagoans just smile. On certain days in the North Loop, when the wind blows just right, the air fills with the delicious, delightful aroma of chocolate. It's not magic, it's simply the Blommer Chocolate Company production line brightening everyone's mood.
Whether you consider it a daily necessity, an indulgence or your drug of choice, chocolate is a marvel. You may love it, but to fully appreciate it you should understand its amazing chemical properties. Illinois Science Council provides a rare chance to learn more about your beloved sweet treat.
- How is chocolate actually made?
- What's the real distinction between dark and milk chocolate? And what's up with "white" chocolate?
- Why does it sometimes turn a grayish color?
- What's the role of emulsifiers and incompatible fats?
- What are the findings of all those health studies done on chocolate?
Illinois Science Council partners with Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum to offer one of our most popular programs about the chemistry of things we care about, and perhaps keep stashed in a desk drawer. This unique workshop on the Chemistry of Chocolate is led by Dr. Shelby Hatch (Chemistry Dept. at Northwestern University) and Melissa Tisoncik (Senior R&D Specialist at Blommer Chocolate Company). You'll do hands-on experiments with chocolate-y goodness, and there will be tasting opportunities plus a choco-licious trivia quiz with prizes! Even if you flunked high school chemistry, you will still love our "class." Sign up now -- space is very limited. No science prerequisites necessary, but you must be 21 or older.
Tickets are $40, which includes admission to Nature on Tap, an adults-only evening monthly event at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum!
Enjoy all the Nature Museum has to offer -- including exhibits that feature our Great Lakes region and, of course, the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven. Compete in trivia, meet live animals, and grab a bite to eat from a featured local restaurant. Craft beers and local wine available for purchase.
Past ISC programs in this series have included the chemistry of beer, whiskey, chocolate, cosmetics honey, and spirits. Join our mailing list here to be sure you won't miss out.
When & Where
Illinois Science Council
Illinois Science Council ("ISC") is an independent 501c3 organization that engages, educates, and entertains the adult public about science, technology, engineering and math in our everyday lives. We showcase the scientists and research of those Chicago-area institutions and companies that make Chicago our nation's true "City of Science." ISC serves as the science & tech complement to the region's arts & culture offerings.
We are inspired and motivated by this Carl Sagan quote: “The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous." Sagan also observed, "We live in a society that is exquisitely dependent upon science and technology in which hardly anyone understands anything about science and technology." ISC is certainly working to change that.
ISC explores all areas of science and technology and we do it with a fun, non-stuffy approach. We don't care what's been forgotten since school (or never learned in the first place). It's simply about continuing to exercise our inexhaustible human sense of curiosity. We create engaging programs open to the public (aimed at adults and accessible to teens) such as hands on chemistry (Chemistry of... Beer, Chocolate, Coffee, Honey, etc), panel discussions on science subjects in the news (Your Brain on Happiness, on Creativity, on Addiction, on Exercise, etc.), author talks, film screenings ("The Atom Smashers"), and more.