The air of anticipation was palpable as more than 50 fourth-and fifth-grade girls took the steps that promised a frothy eruption from a plastic bottle during a science experiment July 12 led by students from Hilliard Darby High School.

Seven Darby students – all girls, too – led the Girls in Science program at the Hilliard branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 4500 Hickory Chase Way.

Also a club at Darby, Girls in Science is designed to encourage girls to study science and related fields, said the club vice president, Noureen Hoq, 17, a senior.

Darby's club has 14 members and a sister club is expected to be launched at Hilliard Bradley High School, but Hilliard Davidson High School does not have a club, according to Hoq.

Last year, Darby students visited several elementary schools but wanted to expand the club's activities, Hoq said.

"So we reached out to the library and were able to have a program here," she said.

Fifty-five girls registered for the workshop and were led in an experiment in which yeast and detergent were added to hydrogen peroxide. A little food coloring added to the effect.

Darby students explained how the "catalyst" triggered the chemical reaction that resulted in the colorful liquid being rapidly expelled from its container.

"It was super neat to watch," said Gemma Pusateri, 10, a fifth-grader at Norwich Elementary School.

"We hope to keep growing the club and visiting other schools and places," said Sarah Saadeh, 17, a senior at Darby.