Inspired by a recent article in the Journal of Chemical Education, Tom Kuntzleman attempted to extract lithium from a coin battery, and to use the extracted lithium to produce a pink flame.
When introducing acid-base theory, the concept of indicators and their pH color changes is usually discussed. To illustrate some color transitions to students, a classroom demonstration has been devised based on a memorable scene from Disney’s 1964 movie Mary Poppins.
Chad Husting uses a few simple gas law experiments to introduce his students to the particulate level of chemistry.
The familiar soda fountains that can be produced by adding Mentos candies to plastic bottles of carbonated beverages can also be produced by adding objects to carbonated beverages in aluminum cans. A variety of simple methods for producing soda fountains from cans are described.
Chad Husting explains how he used two hands on activities to get a sense of where his students were at within the realm of labwork and the scientific process as school began.
Check out the solution to Chemical Mystery #18: Peek A Boo Blue!
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.
Can you use your knowledge of chemistry to figure out what is going on in this blue/green/yellow/blue color change?
The differing electrostatic and solubility properties of starch and polystyrene foam packing peanuts are used in various demonstrations to describe aspects of microplastics and their interactions with the environment. Their differing responses to exposure to liquid nitrogen and iodine solutions are also described.
After a year or more of virtual laboratory instruction due to pandemic restrictions in many colleges, a simple experiment has been designed to provide students returning to in-person lab instruction with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience reviewing basic chemistry laboratory apparatus and techniques.