Demonstrations

Freezing soap bubbles

Want to try an easy, yet interesting chemistry experiment this winter?  Try this:  Blow some bubbles into the outside winter air and catch one of the bubbles with a bubble wand.

Ice clouds

I get excited when I see the outside temperature drop below 0°F (-18°C). This is not because I enjoy cold weather. It is because when the outside temperature gets this cold, I can conduct a particular experiment that I think is quite beautiful. Check out the video.

Holding Fire in the Palm of Your Hand

Some students of mine and I have published two papers in the Journal of Chemical Education that describe how stunt people use chemistry to safely set themselves ablaze while filming action movie scenes. The secret behind this stunt lies in the use of superabsorbent polymer (SAP) gels. To pull off this trick...

Chemistry and Crayola

Have you seen the new Crayola Crystal Effects Window Markers? You can draw on windows with these markers. Better yet, you can use these markers to teach students some chemistry! After drawing on a window with these markers and waiting a little while, the marker ink appears to crystalize! Check out the video.

Sparking Marshmallows

Have you ever cooked a marshmallow in a microwave? In case you are not familiar with this experiment, when a marshmallow is heated in a microwave, gases trapped in the marshmallow expand and escape. When the gas molecules escape from the marshmallow, they push against the marshmallow, causing it to expand. Check out the video.