October 23rd is Mole Day, which is neither dedicated to chocolate-y, savory sauces nor burrowing garden pests.
While mostly everyone who has passed second grade math can identify the mathematical constant that is the ratio of any circle’s circumference to its diameter, fewer are likely familiar with the chemistry measurement units called “moles.” But as a push for scientific literacy moves forward in the US, so too does the prominence of educational initiatives like “Mole Day,” which is celebrated between 6:02 am and 6:02 pm on October 23rd and was created in a magazine for science teachers more than two decades ago.
Mole Day has become somewhat popular in high schools across the US, where the day is used as a way to drive interest in chemistry in students by their educators. An official website for the holiday (which admittedly appears to be less polished than its Pi Day ccounterparts) has this to say about Mole Day:
Celebrated annually on October 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m., Mole Day commemorates Avogadro’s Number (6.02 x 10^23), which is a basic measuring unit in chemistry. Mole Day was created as a way to foster interest in chemistry. Schools throughout the United States and around the world celebrate Mole Day with various activities related to chemistry and/or moles… For a given molecule, one mole is a mass (in grams) whose number is equal to the atomic mass of the molecule. For example, the water molecule has an atomic mass of 18, therefore one mole of water weighs 18 grams. An atom of neon has an atomic mass of 20, therefore one mole of neon weighs 20 grams. In general, one mole of any substance contains Avogadro’s Number of molecules or atoms of that substance.
Will you be celebrating Mole Day this year?