In this Activity, students prepare cyanotype paper and use it to "photograph" different items using sunlight. This Activity demonstrates catalysis of chemical reactions by ultraviolet (UV) light using one of the earliest photographic processes, the cyanotype process. It is useful as an introduction to the damaging effects of UV radiation on living organisms and the role of sunscreens.
In this Activity, students make their own toothpaste and use various tests to compare its properties with those of commercial toothpaste. This includes testing its ability to remove stains from the dyed shells of hard-boiled eggs. The Activity allows students to discover more about a cleaning product they use every day.
In this Activity, students discover the concept of stoichiometry and limiting reactants in two ways: first by adding vinegar to a small quantity of baking soda until bubbles stop, and second by mixing a constant quantity of baking soda with increasing volumes of vinegar and collecting the carbon dioxide produced in balloons. This Activity could be used in an introduction to stoichiometry.
In this Activity, students test common household substances to see how they change the way paper burns. Strips of filter paper are soaked in saturated solutions, dried, and briefly held in a flame. The Activity demonstrates the effectiveness of flame retardants. It could be used when discussing combustion reactions or during a unit on practical or everyday chemistry.
In this Activity, students extract sodium zeolite A from powdered laundry detergent and examine its properties. The Activity helps students to apply their chemical knowledge to the realm of consumer products. It could be used as a lead-in for a discussion of environmental issues and water chemistry.
In this Activity, students test the pH and acid neutralizing capacity of plain water, water that they blow their breath into, and water with either baking soda or lemon juice added. Students discover why normal rain is not neutral when they observe the effect of their breath on the pH of poorly buffered water.
In this Activity, students compare the temperature change of a rubber band that is quickly stretched compared to one that is quickly relaxed. They predict what effect the stress of heating will have on a stretched rubber strip and test their prediction.
In this Activity, students use written clues to determine the identities of 12 chemical compounds. They write the name and chemical formula for each compound, and find a consumer product in which each compound is present. This Activity increases student awareness of the presence of a variety of chemical compounds in a range of common consumer products.
In this Activity, students investigate "spring shock", the flow of acidic water into lakes and streams that occurs during snowmelt in the spring. They freeze vinegar in ice cube trays, and then allow the cubes to melt at room temperature through a funnel. They collect the liquid and monitor its pH. This Activity could be used in units on environmental chemistry and water chemistry.
In this Activity, students compare several different window cleaner recipes to determine the purpose each ingredient in a window cleaner serves. They use different combinations of water (solvent), isopropyl alcohol (wetting agent), and ammonia (grease cutter). They then develop their own "New and Improved" recipe to test its performance against commercial window cleaner.