Why does the "Whoosh Bottle" experiment behave differently at different temperatures?
Did you know that sand can be converted into a mixture of gases that spontaneously ignites in air? The procedures involved are relatively simple to perform, spectacular to observe, and relate to a rich assortment of chemical principles.
Michael Jansen reflects on a very common empirical formula lab that asks students to determine the empirical formula of MgxOy. He then explains how he continues to use it as a "successful failure", how he demonstrates an alternate procedure and leads his students to an important lesson.
This classroom activity challenges students to figure out the volume of gaseous carbon dioxide emitted from the combustion of 1 gallon of gasoline fuel.
The Ruben's Tube (also known as a Flame Tube) is a classic experiment used in physics classes. There's also a bit of chemistry to be learned while experimenting with a Ruben's Tube...
You are likely aware that diamonds are converted - albeit slowly - to graphite under normal conditions. Thus, diamonds don't last forever, in contrast to the popular advertising slogan. However, did you know that you can use chemistry to prove that diamonds are not forever? It's simpler than you think...
I added an extra step including a follow up Claim, Evidence & Reasoning activity to the familiar whoosh bottle activity.
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.
Build a propane gun for your students! Construction is inexpensive, easy, and the effects are spectacular.
Cellulose nitrate (also known as nitrocellulose or guncotton) is a very flammable substance that is formed by reacting cellulose (also known as dietary fiber) with a mixture of concentrated nitric and sulfuric acids: