Chemistry classes continue tie dye tradition


photo by Lukas Goodwin

Sophomores Daniel Ocasio and Nia Shand tie dye their shirts. They were focused on getting the designs just right.

Starting Monday, April 1, chemistry classes started their annual tie-dying throughout the course of the following weeks, in both the science labs and in the courtyard. Science teachers Kim Dansereau, Romina Jannotti, Alyse Manning, Tawni Small and Angela Campbell have led the activity every year as a way for kids to have fun during final exam season.

It took the teachers several days to prepare the dyes for their classes, as they must be ordered and dissolved into water with a chemical called urea. In addition, students must bring in their clothing of choice a few days prior to dying it to be treated in another chemical, soda ash, so the cotton fibers can form a covalent bond with the dyes.

“It is very labor intensive,” Jannotti said. “But the kids love it, so we’ll keep doing it.”

Students chose from a small assortment of different patterns and instructions on how to make them, but if they wanted to try something different, then they were welcome to bring in their own designs.

Sophomore Paige Newnum decided to get creative with her shirt, by creating a yin-yang symbol with the help of some tutorials online.

“It was fun being able to find my own design and do something no one else did,” Newnum said.

The school has been running the tie dye activity since it opened in 2005, after inviting elementary schoolers from Carillon to conduct science experiments with Hagerty. The sophomores would make tie dye shirts to wear as a uniform during the event, and despite no longer coordinating it, tie dying itself stuck around as a school tradition due to how much students enjoyed it.

“They get really excited because it’s something they got to make for themselves,” Dansereau said. “Some of them have already worn their shirts to school in this past week.”

Students have fun with not only the aspect of doing the tie dying themselves, but also to see the results. More often than not, the design will turn out looking completely different than expected after waiting for the dyes to soak into the fabrics.

“It’s like a Kinder Egg,” Jannotti said. “You can plan it as much as you want, but the actual results will be a pleasant surprise.”