Will a Watched Pot Ever Boil? A Simple, but Effective, Chemistry Lab: Constructing a Heating Curve of Water

This lab guides students through taking data and constructing their own heating curve for water. It requires no special equipment, is low prep, is safe, and can even be done at home for homeschool or distance learning. Even though the lab activity itself is relatively simple and straightforward, the concepts still engage students in higher level thinking and gives them important practice with laboratory techniques and forming hypotheses.

Turning Element Abbreviations into a Strategic Exercise

Various types of puzzles are widely used in STEM learning activities due to their ability to familiarize students with given content using a strategic approach. In this novel puzzle, there are two steps to complete the exercise. The first step involves the participant identifying periodic table element abbreviations within a specific word. The second step involves fitting the corresponding element names into a blank crossword format. The students become familiar with the elements and their abbreviations, as well as their location on the periodic table.

The Pumpkinator

This Pumpkinator is a fantastic orange-to-blue-to-orange chemical reaction that will make a great addition to your Halloween-themed chemistry demonstrations.

A Visit to Natural Fiber Welding: Demonstrating Green Chemistry in Action

The theme to the 2022 National Chemistry Week, observed October 16-22, is “Fabulous Fibers: The Chemistry of Fabrics”. A visit to Natural Fiber Welding, Inc. in Peoria, IL, revealed how that company is using ionic liquids to solvent weld cellulose fibers together to produce more durable yarn which can then be made into more durable fabric. The production method and “greenness” of the product is discussed, from the cellulose itself to the recycling of the solution used in the welding process. Macroscopic demonstrations of the fiber solvent welding process are also described. 

Chemistry Topics

acids/bases applications of chemistry aqueous solution chemistry Atomic Properties / Structure conductivity consumer chemistry Demonstrations density electrochemistry electrolysis equilibrium Food Science gases General Chemistry kinetics Laboratory Instruction liquids magnetic properties metals noncovalent interactions Outreach Oxidation / Reduction oxidation/reduction Phases / Phase Transitions / Diagrams Physical Chemistry physical properties precipitation/solubility Public Understanding reactions solids stoichiometry thermodynamics