Columbia Researchers Are Behind One of the Hottest Science Accounts on TikTok Right Now

The team behind the viral @IvyLeagueScience leads the NSF Center for Chemistry with Electric Fields (ChEF). Here are five of their funniest TikToks so far.

June 16, 2021

Let’s just say that Columbia University and the National Science Foundation seem to have a lot of chemistry these days.

Last year, a group of researchers and senior faculty in the departments of applied physics and chemistry received a three-year $1,800,000 grant from the NSF to create Columbia’s Center for Chemistry with Electric Fields, aimed at discovering new methods to drive chemical reactions. As part of this center’s mission, they are also overseeing an educational and outreach program designed to get the public excited and interested in science fields such as nanotechnology.

Now that the project is underway, the group’s popularity through its @ivyleaguescience TikTok channel hosted by Claudia Prindle, a rising third-year graduate student, and Nicholas Orchanian, a CNI post-doctoral fellow, is, well, blowing up the internet—and we’re not just talking about the exploding gummy bears. Their approachable videos, including one that racked up 1.9 million views, are taking off.  

“It is fun to see these videos. Claudia and Nick are brilliant at using contemporary images and lingo to connect with a young audience on topics that are complex,” said Colin Nuckolls, the Sheldon and Dorothea Buckler Professor of Materials Science.

“They’ve taken a dry topic like fundamental chemistry and built out novel public content,” said Latha Venkataraman, center director, Lawrence Gussman Professor of Applied Physics, Professor of Chemistry, and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.  “We couldn’t be happier.”

More exciting content is planned. Stay tuned, and in the meantime, check out these five great TikToks from the team.

1. Exploding Gummy Bears

2. Did You Say SAP?


Fool your friends with disappearing water! ##STEM ##prank ##magictrick ##science101 @drnick_tok @boommicclaud

♬ original sound - ivyleaguescience

3. Make Your Own Nylon at Home (Kinda)


Make your own Nylon with @drnick_tok and @boommicclaud 🧵 ##diy ##lifehack ##simplerecipe ##tipsandtricks

♬ original sound - ivyleaguescience

4. Do You Ever Get Lonely?


say goodbye to crippling loneliness with @drnick_tok and @boommicclaud ! ##lonely ##SummerSchool ##petsontiktok ##battery ##learnwithme ##STEM ##DIY

♬ original sound - ivyleaguescience

5. A Spoon And Some #ScienceFunFacts