Chemistry Lessons

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Difficulty Level: This indicates how difficult it is for the teacher to present the lesson, not how hard it is for the student to do the experiment. Difficulty levels vary according to type of equipment needed, preparation time, and scarcity or expense of certain materials.

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 CHEMISTRY
bluebottletrailer
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Blue Bottle (Teen class) -- Students experiment with the properties of lye, a strong base -- how to handle it safely, how to measure it, and what happens when it's mixed with other chemicals. They also try to solve the puzzle of why a solution inside a sealed bottle changes color when they shake it and then changes back again. This relates to bases, mixtures, solutions, chemical reactions, oxidation, heat and cold, using a digital scale, and safe handling of caustic chemicals. Difficulty: Medium
Bouncy Stretchy Glue trailer
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Bouncy & Stretchy Glue -- Students discover a weird goop that acts as a solid and a liquid made from cornstarch. They compare it to rubber made from white glue and Boraxo (GAK). This relates to mixtures, solutions, chemical reactions, non-Newtonian fluids, viscosity, and elasticity. Difficulty: Easy
Calcium Carbide trailer
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Calcium Carbide -- Students experiment with smelly rocks that become fizzy when you add water, and then explode when you put a flame near it! This relates to chemical changes, solids, liquids, and gases, heat, light, and combustion. Difficulty: Medium
Charcoal Heat Bags trailer
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Charcoal Heat Bags -- Students mix together iron powder, activated charcoal, and salt water and notice how the temperature changes, with and without oxygen. This relates to air/fuel ratio, chemical changes, catalysts, solids, liquids, gases, heat, and combustion. Difficulty: High
Color Changers trailer
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Color Changers -- Students discover that ordinary yellow paper can do extraordinary things. They draw on it with household ammonia, baking soda mix, and vinegar to develop a way to send secret messages. This relates to chemical changes, acids and bases, pH indicators, and evaporation. (Also see the Teacher Workshop for this lesson.) Difficulty: Easy

Cornstarch Monsters trailer
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Corn Starch Monsters -- Students mix corn starch and water and come up with a material that behaves like a solid and a liquid at the same time. Then they watch it vibrate and turn into a monster! This relates to mixtures, solids and liquids, non-Newtonian fluids, and vibrations. Difficulty: High
Dry Ice trailer
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Dry Ice -- Students discover how to make a hollow ice egg, how soap bubbles can float in mid air, how to make fog, and how to make eerie noises. This relates to solids, liquids, gases, sublimation, condensation, dew point, freezing point, vibrations, clouds, greenhouse effect, and respiration. This is the most popular lesson in our curriculum! (Also see Fog & Static Electricity, which combines elements of this lesson and the Static Electricity lesson.) Difficulty: Easy
Exploding Bubbles trailer
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Exploding Bubbles -- Students hold bubbles of hydrogen and oxygen in the palm of their hand and watch them explode when touched by a flame. This relates to liquids and gases, the chemical composition of water, and combustion. (This is a short lesson -- about 30 minutes.) Difficulty: Medium
Exploding Film Cans trailer
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Exploding Film Cans -- Students experiment with fuel-to-air ratios to find out which mixture will send a film can flying through the air. This relates to liquids and gases, air pressure, fuel-to-air ratio, Newton's three laws of motion, and combustion. Difficulty: High
Glow Sticks trailer
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Glow Sticks -- Students discover how chemicals combine to create flourescence, and how temperature affects the brightness of the chemical. This relates to mixtures, solutions, chemical reactions, light frequency, wavelength, and fluorescence. Difficulty: Easy
Grow Snow trailer
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Grow Snow -- Students add small amounts of water to two different kinds of crystals to see what happens. This relates to dissolving, mixtures, and states of matter. Note: This is a short lesson, only a half hour. Difficulty: Easy
hotcoldfizzytrailer
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Hot, Cold & Fizzy -- Students discover that common chemicals can create a wide variety of results when they are mixed in a certain way. This relates to dissolving, chemical reactions, mixtures, exothermic reactions, endothermic reactions, acids, bases, and acid/base indicators. Difficulty: Easy
Ice Cream trailer
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Ice Cream -- Students discover how to lower the freezing point of water enough so that their sample of ice cream becomes a solid. This relates to freezing point depression, solutions, melting point, freezing point, and temperature scales. Difficulty: Easy
Jelly Jam Jar Jets trailer
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Jelly Jam Jar Jets -- Students create a jet engine in a glass jar and experiment with different kinds of fuel to see which ones work best. This relates to flash point, resonance, liquids and gases, air pressure, fuel-to-air ratio, and combustion. Difficulty: High
Launching Film Cans trailer
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Launching Film Cans -- Mix chemicals together to see if they fizz enough to blow the lid off a film can and then compare that to dry ice and hot water. This relates to chemical reactions, carbon dioxide, pressure, and sublimation. Difficulty: Easy
Liquid Density trailer
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Liquid Density -- Students discover how liquids of different densities interact, like lava lamps, and how objects of different densities float in a multi-layered liquid. This relates to properties of matter, liquids, and density. Difficulty: Easy
Mentos and Soda trailer
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Mentos and Soda -- Students experiment with different kinds of nozzles to see which one will produce the highest "fountain" from their soda bottle. This relates to liquids, gases, states of matter, compression of air, and carbon dioxide. Difficulty: Easy
Osmosis trailer
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Osmosis -- Students combine soap and glue to make slime, then add table salt to see how water is absorbed and released by it. This relates to solids, liquids, states of matter, solutions, differing concentrations, and water transport in cells. Difficulty: Easy
Secret Sand trailer
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Secret Sand -- Students explore the fun properties of oil and water together and experience getting their hands wet and dry at the same time. This relates to solids, liquids, solutions, molecules, and hydrophilic and hydrophobic substances. Difficulty: Easy

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