Learn how to give pennies a beautiful, silvery-colored plating.
Celebrating National Chemistry Week 2019
The October 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: marvelous metals; safety; engaging activities on nuclear chemistry and self-healing hydrogels; chemistry activities for students studying nursing; fostering community; mathematics and computer models in chemistry; innovative experiments; challenges of demonstrating the atmospheric greenhouse effect; chemical education research; resources for teaching.
Simple chemical tests are described that can indicate the presence of certain metals in coins. A wide variety of chemical concepts are involved. The experiments described are a natural fit for the 2019 National Chemistry Week theme of "Marvelous Metals!"
This post describes some simple experiments using various coins and neodymium magnets that connect to the 2019 National Chemistry Week theme of Marvelous Metals!
My IB seniors are just wrapping up our unit on electrochemistry and redox. This has always been a challenging topic within the IB curriculum. Admittedly, electrochemistry has not ever been my strong suit either, so this year I aimed to strengthen the unit with two additional demonstrations.
Last winter I watched a webinar put on by ACS and AACT called "NGSS in the Chemistry Classroom." As a result of watching that webinar, I took an activity that had NGSS Science & Engineering Practices (SEP) integrated into it and tried it out in class. In this activity, students are required to develop their own procedures and data tables.
In this Activity, students investigate properties of radiation using a handheld radio. Students compare the abilities of conductive and dielectric materials to attenuate or block, radio waves, and compare the attenuation of AM versus FM radio waves. The radio is placed inside different objects and students record which materials blocked or attenuated the waves.
In this Activity, students compare the properties of nitinol metal wire (known as "memory" metal) and ordinary wire. Using the observed properties, they design (and possibly make) a toy that would use memory metal to operate. This Activity connects toys with science, and allows students to become inventors as they design a toy of their own.
In this Activity, students remove tarnish from silver using the reaction of tarnish with aluminum. If only untarnished silver items are available, students first tarnish them using items that contain sulfur. This Activity could be used with topics such as chemical changes, metals, electrochemistry, and redox reactions. The Activity could introduce a discussion of silver and its reactions.
In this Activity, students use an oatmeal canister to make a pinhole camera, load it with black and white photographic paper, and create a paper negative using the camera. This interdisciplinary Activity combines chemistry and art.