middle school science

Demonstrating the Glass Transition of Polylactic Acid with a Rattle

Polylactic acid (PLA) exhibits a glass transition from hard and brittle to soft and rubbery when immersed in boiling water. PLA-based structures containing a small metal object can be used as rattles when they are shaken. The sound of the rattles change when they are heated above or cooled below their glass transition, enabling them to be used as demonstrations.

Ice Clouds 2.0

What is some of the chemistry involved in the formation of ice clouds when boiling water is thrown into icy air?

Solar Eclipse Trip Recap

A trip to see the 2024 solar eclipse provided the opportunity to explore ideas associated with sulfur in petroleum, sunlight intensity measurements, laser interference patterns from eclipse glasses, and large-scale light emission from excited hydrogen.