Chemical commemorations

Make way for Mole Day because many say it pays to survey the great display (of moles)


Photo by Ronan Euzen

HOLY MOLE, BATMAN: This pictured mole project is a play on the household arts and crafts brand of CrayolaTM. The moles themselves are the numerous “crayons” inside the box.

Every year on October 23, the chemistry classes celebrate the holiday known as Mole Day, which is the scientific holiday that celebrates the unit of measurement known as the mole. Despite the current coronavirus situation, mole day celebrations will not yield to the pandemic, and excitement is building as the chemistry party grows near.

“Mole Day is like my Christmas morning,” chemistry teacher Mrs. Sarah Rose said. “It’s a very exciting day in chemistry class.”

On Mole Day, students build a felt model of a mole and are able to decorate their moles, usually as a character or famous person. Students are also encouraged to incorporate a mole-related pun into their projects. 

Furthermore, the idea of Mole Day did not originate at Roncalli, and it is actually a rather popular holiday all across the nation.

“I started celebrating Mole Day when I was in high school, so I did not come up with the idea,” chemistry teacher Mr. Ben North said. “I can thank good ol’ Mr. Brown for that.”

As Mole Day grows on the horizon, some chemistry students are already planning out their methods of preparation for the big day. Some students, such as junior Jack Rittenhouse, are planning to complete the same method as last year to produce their moles.

“One fun tale related to Mole Day was when I and the boys went to Joanne’s Fabric Emporium in order to purchase materials to create moles,” Rittenhouse said. “We spent over 50% of an hour perusing the aisles in search of a perfect textile in order to fabricate our ‘Kung Fu Molesters’ (mole + masters, pronounced ‘mōlstərz’)”

For new chemistry students who have never created a mole before, there are some handy tips that can be followed to ensure that a prize-winning mole is made.

“Don’t give away your idea,” North said. “There are thieves everywhere.”

Rittenhouse, a prize-winning mole maker himself, also had some recommendations.

“If you’re looking to win, create a large, themed group of moles,” Rittenhouse said. “I made the moles Lord Shen, Po, Crane, and Molester Oogway with the boys. They are inspired by the dynamic triad of films known as the ‘Kung Fu Panda’ trilogy, starring Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, and Seth Rogen, in which a strapping young panda named Po dreams of becoming the Dragon Warrior and living in the Jade Palace, whilst training with the most ferocious group of kung fu warriors to ever live, the Furious Five.”

However, students’ moles need not be the best looking moles for Mole Day to be a success. Upon the creation of a mole, students are guaranteed some of the most elusive items ever discovered in a classroom, known as bonus points.

“My advice is always that the students make [the moles] themselves,” Rose said. “It’s a lot more meaningful even if it doesn’t look as great.”

Upon the arrival of Mole Day, students can look forward to various celebrations in chemistry class.

“[Students] come up and present their mole to the class and we take a vote on the most creative or nicely made mole,” Rose said. “Then we have some mole day celebration snacks while we sing some celebration songs.”

If students choose to enter their moles into the “Best Mole” competition, they must be sure that their moles are dressed to impress.

“You have to think about all of the possible inspiration from which you could draw your influence,” Rittenhouse said. “Select the one which you know would knock the socks off of Mr. Benjamin North.”

Despite the current pandemic, Mole Day will continue in 2020 and bring on a new generation of majestic moles.