The differing electrostatic and solubility properties of starch and polystyrene foam packing peanuts are used in various demonstrations to describe aspects of microplastics and their interactions with the environment. Their differing responses to exposure to liquid nitrogen and iodine solutions are also described.
It may come as no surprise that three of our very own lead contributors have been named as Finalists for the 2021 Presidential Awards for Excellent in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) at the secondary level in their states. We would like to recognize them along with all of the amazing math and science teachers across the country that have earned this honor.
Stacks of LEGO bricks can be used to illustrate the composition and pressures of various planetary atmospheres. Guides for the construction and use of these atmosphere sticks are provided.
During the last few semesters, a small survey has been deployed at Bradley University where students were to describe and classify items of litter that they found. The purposes of the surveys were to get students thinking about some of the chemical implications of solid waste and give the students some experience with a citizen science project. The most recent iteration of the survey, and some of its results, are described.
The many colors of springtime can be illustrated with photochromic pigments in commercial products. These products include UV beads, and more recently, photochromic glue. The glue can be used as a photochromic paint for paper or even eggs. The resulting colorful, decorative objects can be used to illustrate chemical discussions of aspects of photochemistry.
Have you seen the rainbow candy experiment? It's a very simple experiment that involves pouring water into a plate that has M&M's candies or Skittles arranged in a pattern. Very curious shapes of sharply divided regions form spontaneously. How does this happen?!
Tom Kuntzleman tests to see if Powerade can be used as a source of reducing sugars in the classic silver mirror demonstration, and reminisces about Christmas days past when doing so.
What's a better way to start the new school year than with some new experiments? Learn how to use a variety of color changing experiments to teach students about the Diet Coke and Mentos experiment, acids, bases, chemical and physical changes, and climate change.
Liquid nitrogen is used to visualize the aerosol particles emitted while speaking, coughing, breathing, and sneezing. The ability of various masks to block these droplets was also tested.
The solution to Chemical Mystery #17 is presented. Were you able to use your chemical knowledge to explain the results?