Chemical Connections to Climate Change

carbon dioxide absorbing IR light

It is becoming increasingly important for citizens to understand various concepts related to climate change and global warming. This post describes several chemical concepts that are pertinent to these issues, in the hopes that teachers of science and chemistry can introduce the topic of climate change into their classrooms and everyday discussions.

The Hindenburg

Teaching the Hindenburg disaster in the chemistry classroom.

I have always been intrigued by the story of the Hindenburg, the iconic airship that caught fire on May 6, 1937. The accident killed 35 of the 100 passengers and crewmembers on board. As a chemistry teacher, I discuss this from a chemical standpoint and the fact that the airship was filled with hydrogen, a flammable gas, rather than helium, a non-flammable gas, as today’s modern airships are.

Chemical Mystery #5: How to burn water

The video displays a neat trick you can do for your students. What do you suppose is the secret behind this trick? Hint: >It has to do with chemistry!

Whoosh Bottle, take 1

My students and I intend to use a high-speed camera to film a variety of chemistry experiments in slow motion.  The first reaction we have decided to film is the “Whoosh Bottle”.  You can read more about this pa

Water gas reaction

When water contacts burning charcoal, hydrogen gas and carbon monoxide gas form.