National Chemistry Week did not slip by unnoticed at Halstead Academy and Pleasant Plains Elementary School. Thanks to the Department of Defense STEM Initiative and American Chemical Society, with the help of Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame and UMBC, students and their families learned about chemistry with hands-on activities at chemistry night held at Halstead last month.. The event drew 317 people, including students from both schools and members of their families.

Students learned how to do fingerprints and learned no two fingerprints are the same. They learned about cross linking molecules and made slime and rubber. At another station, focusing on health and wellness, they discovered the amount of sugar in one 12-ounce can of coca cola and the method doctors use to test for diabetes.

They also learned about the chemistry of crime, the chemistry of germs and bacteria, and the chemistry of polymers.

The Loch Raven Village Book Club is starting its ninth year and continues to meet monthly on the third Thursday of the month at 7:30p.m. at Panera Bread at Towson Place.

In October, the club held a special meeting at the Loch Raven Library, with guest speakers Judith Waldman, a psychotherapist, and Marilyn F. Clark, a licensed counselor. Using exercises from their book "Stand, Flow Shine," they held a mini workshop. They taught techniques to promote positive attitudes, inner strength, body in motion, creative flow and relaxation. Following the program, there was a book signing.

New members are welcome to attend the book club; the current book is "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn but there is no meeting in December. At the Jan. 16 meeting, the book is "Baba Yaga" by Toby Barlows.

Loch Raven United Methodist church will once again host its annual Festival of the Arts, a multimedia art show on Saturday, Nov. 30 from 1 to 5 p.m. Church and community members will be displaying various forms of art in one of three categories: "Celebrate the Boulevard," community heritage of the Loch Raven communities; "Tis the Season," holiday theme; and "In the Eye of the Beholder," an open category.

The show will also feature the Baltimore Flute Choir and Joyous Voices, a Dickens era ensemble, as well as craft vendors, children's craft activities and a display of manger scenes.

The church is located at 6622 Loch Raven Boulevard. There is no charge for the show, but canned goods will be collected for the Assistance Center of Towson Churches, an agency which helps the needy. Entries will be accepted from the community for the art or manger display until Nov. 25. Contact Debi Wynn at tnhedutainment@aol.com or call the church at 410-825-0900 to enter.

Idlewylde United Methodist Church, 1000 Regester Ave. holds its annual Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 30 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.. It will feature gently used Christmas items for sale, a "Purple Corner," crafts and a bake table. Santa will also be there from noon to 1 p.m. Parents will be able to take pictures of Santa for free with their own camera. There are spaces available for crafters as well. The bazaar will benefit the Idlewylde Nursery School that has been educating 3- and 4-year-olds in the Idlewylde community since 1947. For information, call Sandy at 410-435-9119.

Yes, Santa is already hard at work but taking time to have breakfast with community children at Arnolia United Methodist Church on Saturday, Dec. 7 beginning at 9 a.m. Kids will have time to give their wish list to Santa and take pictures as well as choose small gifts that the elves will wrap for them. Breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, mini muffins and beverages. Cost is $7 and reservations are required. Call the church at 410-665-7005 to buy tickets.

And the church's thrift shop has Christmas decorations and holiday clothes as well as an enlarged children's section filled with clothes, toys and baby items along with clothes for men and women and household items. Open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday and Thursday and the second Saturday of every month, the thrift shop is located at 1776 E. Joppa Road.

Enjoy a holiday concert by the Baltimore Philharmonic Orchestra on Sunday, Dec., 15 at 3 p.m. at Loch Raven High School, 1212 Cowpens Avenue. The concert is free but donations will be accepted.

The Chorus of the Chesapeake (Dundalk Chapter) and The Upper Chesapeake Chorus - Sweet Adelines presents a concert at Parkville High School, 2600 Putty Hill Avenue, on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. Adult tickets are $25 and all seats are reserved. To purchase tickets, contact Frank Sigwart at 410 529-0732.

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