Decorative beads are tested for the presence of iron pyrite, or FeS2, in an activity well-suited for the National Chemistry Week theme of "Chemistry Rocks!"
The authors of the recent Journal of Chemical Education article, PolymerDay: Outreach Experiments for High School Students, offer a collection of interactive polymer activities designed to be part of an all-day outreach event for high school students. For teachers that might use the activities on separate occasions and/or as part of their curriculum, the authors recommend an accessible resource to support that work.
This is an ACS Authors' Choice article and is open access to all.
I have been in the lab conducting tests on the chemical and physical properties of various geological samples. In my investigations I’ve found that hematite is a particular mineral that is easy to acquire and quite amenable to experimentation.
You probably know what happens when you place dry ice in water. Do you know what happens when dry ice is placed in acetone or glycerin? Read this and find out!
Red dye #40 found in strawberry Kool-Aid and various cloth fibers can be used in a very simple experiment that can teach students about intermolecular forces. A video is included that describes the experiment and analysis of results.
A few years ago, we launched a weather balloon during our summer science camp. The balloon reached an altitude of 30 km (100,000 ft)! Among other things, this project ended up being a great way to teach campers about the gas laws and how atmospheric pressure decreases with altitude.
Most chemical educators will agree that exciting demonstrations are excellent motivators to create interest in science. They are also a way to create interest in the community, motivate the student-demonstrators, and perhaps to make a little money to support special activities of an ACS Chem Club. Chemical demonstration shows, organized around holidays or other special occasions have a long and honored history. Pacifica High School (Garden Grove, CA) took its inspiration from the lecture-demonstrations of Michael Faraday, given during the Christmas holidays of 1860-61. (The Chemical History of A Candle).
During our recent chemistry summer camp, we used some electrochemistry activities. We had some logistical issues, but they were an overal success!
Yesterday I posted about Day 1 of the Chemistry Camp
My goal with this summer camp was to expose students to the chemistry of things around us - plants, food, batteries, fuel, etc. Fortunately, by studying plant pigments and photosynthesis, students were able to learn about and utilize common lab techniques.