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Chemistry Project Ideas?


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#1 of 19 Andrew S

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Posted March 29 2003 - 05:37 AM

Was wondering if anyone could give me any ideas?
I'm in grade 12 chemistry and the assignment is to perform a chemistry "magic show" for elementary students (grades 4 and up). Our teacher will give us the appropriate chemicals or materials (depending of course on safety and $$$), we just need to figure out what we're going to do.

We're pretty much suppose to do the old baking soda and vinegar trick, just at a 12th grade level Posted Image.

If anyone had any tips I'd appreciate them very much.
Thanks,
Andrew
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#2 of 19 Mark Hayenga

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Posted March 29 2003 - 05:44 AM

Take equal parts granular sodium nitrate and sugar. Mix well, put in disposable aluminum container (coke can works well), place over bunsen burner. Stand back, wait 60 seconds.

Get a funnel, and put filter paper in it in the shape of a cone. Fill with iodine crystals. Pour lab grade ammonia over the crystals and let drain through the filter paper/funnel. Take wet crystals, set on a thick base (several sheets) of paper towels. Let dry 1 hr. Stand back and tap it with a 10ft pole.

Those should get you an A+ and maybe a little more Posted Image
"There are 10 types of people in the world: those that understand binary, and those that have friends."

#3 of 19 Mark Hayenga

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Posted March 29 2003 - 05:47 AM

BTW be very careful with the disposal of the filter paper. It will have residue from the iodine and ammonia on it. I accidentally blew up the trash can in 9th grade by throwing away the wet filter paper, and when someone tossed a broken pencil in the trash can two class periods later...
"There are 10 types of people in the world: those that understand binary, and those that have friends."

#4 of 19 Andrew S

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Posted March 29 2003 - 05:55 AM

Thanks for the idea. I'll have to try it in a room full of first-graders and see what happens seeing as you didn't "specifically" tell me what would happen, although that garbage can story hinted it a bit Posted Image

Thanks anyway Posted Image
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#5 of 19 Seth_S

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Posted March 29 2003 - 06:17 AM

An old favorite of chem teachers is the flaming (glowing) gummy bear.

Here's what you'll need:

1 test tube (about 150mm in length and 25mm wide)
ring stand and clamp
about 10 grams of sodium chlorate (potassium chlorate also works)
bunsen burner
1 gummy bear

Directions:

Setup the ring stand so that the test tube is vertical. Fill with sodium chlorate and heat until molten. Remove burner, turn off lights, and drop gummy bear in with tongs (stand back). Here's a movie of someone doing it: http://www.wellesley..../gummybear.mov

safety: It's fairly safe, just be sure to do it in a well ventilated room, wear the proper safety equipment and consider performing behind safety glass (also helps add a bit of drama).

#6 of 19 Anders Englund

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Posted March 29 2003 - 06:23 AM

Well, I suppose you could find some good suggestions in the classic The Terrorist's Handbook. Better not put any link here. Posted Image

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#7 of 19 Christ Reynolds

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Posted March 29 2003 - 06:31 AM

Quote:
Well, I suppose you could find some good suggestions in the classic The Terrorist's Handbook. Better not put any link here.
yeah that would work really well. with all the horrible information in those books, it would be a great way to magically put yourself in the hospital. mark's idea would be cool, i'm talking about the trash can, that would scare the first graders pretty bad! or motivate them to take chemistry, who knows Posted Image

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#8 of 19 Michael R Price

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Posted March 29 2003 - 07:08 AM

There's the classic sodium-water reaction. Just get a beaker of water and toss a chunk of sodium in it. Tsss... Pow!

I know of a few others, but they're not coming to mind at the moment.

#9 of 19 Andrew S

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Posted March 29 2003 - 07:24 AM

Yeah, our teacher's done the sodium-water reaction... we kept asking her to use bigger pieces of sodium, but she never does.
Thanks for all the responses so far...
Andrew
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#10 of 19 Eric Mitchell

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Posted March 29 2003 - 11:18 AM

You could do liquid nitrogen experiments. Dip in a rose and then shatter it on the table.

Or try mixing water and Ouzo (sp?, it is a liquor.) Have some water in a beaker. Pour in Ouzo until there are equal parts, and it will turn milky white. Then just keep pouring and it will turn clear again.

You could always just burn some magnesium.

#11 of 19 Darren Davis

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Posted March 29 2003 - 01:02 PM

Kids like pirates. What do pirates have? GOLD!

In my chemistry class we did this lab that turned pennies into a golden color. The kids will be amazed and because they're only pennies you could give them out so the kids will always remember your "magic show". I don't remember the exact procedure of the lab but this looks almost exactly like what we did:

http://whs.wsd.wedne....ldenPenny.html

#12 of 19 Andrew S

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Posted March 29 2003 - 01:35 PM

Darren, that sounds like exactly what I'm looking for... seeing as it is pretty cool and would appeal to kids.
I appreciate the link very much.
Thanks again for all the replies.
Andrew
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#13 of 19 Jeff Kleist

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Posted March 29 2003 - 02:28 PM

I believe Mark was either giving you a recipe for Nitro or TNT Posted Image

#14 of 19 Andrew S

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Posted March 30 2003 - 06:52 AM

Bump so I don't have to look too hard to find this thread at school tomorrow.
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#15 of 19 Jin E

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Posted March 30 2003 - 07:23 AM

FWIW I did something similar in AP Chem when I was in HS. My buddy and I's portion of the show involved playing with liquid nitrogen. We would freeze object and break them. Lots of fun! Then of course we had to explain why the liquid nitrogen made things brittle... and what was going on at the molecular level. To start things off we put a hot dog weiner in a rubber kitchen glove. WE acted like we stuck a finger in the liquid nitrogen... and we would smach the finger/glove. That was our opening "Liquid Nitrogen is dangerous" bit.
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#16 of 19 Morgan Jolley

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Posted March 30 2003 - 09:28 AM

Try mixing MgO powder and Hydrogen Peroxide. Our Chem Honors teacher did this a week ago, fun to watch. Make sure to do it in one of those beakers that is shaped like an upside-down cone (forget the name, we did the naming stuff years ago) so that the resulting vapor will bellow out and go straight up.

#17 of 19 Andrew S

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Posted March 30 2003 - 01:18 PM

The liquid nitrogen idea is cool, but I don't know if we'd have access to it. In fact, I highly doubt it. Our school tends to get the things leftover from other schools Posted Image

Thanks again,
Andrew
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#18 of 19 Chris Tsutsui

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Posted March 30 2003 - 04:47 PM

Don't do the liquid nitrogen bit because all it takes is one kid to tell their parents what happened and things can get messy.

Instead, there are a few experiments I remember but don't remember the exact details:

Making plasma in a microwave with graphite.

Filling balloon with hydrogen or Oxygen and gas and lighting it with a match.

Put a small amount of water in a coke can and boil it, then put the can top down on ice water. (Implodes)

Fill up a coffee can with natural gas, and poke a small hole in the middle of the top. Light the hole and there will be a small flame, as the flame gets smaller and smaller tell the class to listen carefully for a whistle sound. (BOOM)

Or fill a water bottle with some water and put a chunk of dry ice in it then seal the water bottle and have the children pass it around class. Call it russian hot potato. (JK don't do it)


#19 of 19 Anders Englund

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Posted March 30 2003 - 04:58 PM

Quote:
Filling balloon with hydrogen or Oxygen and gas and lighting it with a match.
So the liquid nitrogen thingie would have parents ranting, and this wouldn't?Posted Image

--Anders
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It's not possible to offend someone, only to be offended.





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